Honduras registers most migrants who pass through its territory en route to the United States. Since August 2022 it has waived fees required to register (and thus be able to board a bus), so the country’s data does capture most in-transit migrants.
These are mostly people who passed through the Darién Gap or began their journey on the American mainland in Nicaragua, which has relatively loose visa requirements.
Honduras also shares its migrant registry data almost in real time. And looking at that data right now yields a startling result.
This number averaged 23,660 per month between August 2022 and June 2023. It jumped to 48,971 in July, and to 63,615 in August. More than half are Venezuelan.
We’re seeing similar increases in migrant encounters in Panama and Mexico, and now at the U.S.-Mexico border. Migration at the border is probably, once again, going to be a big issue in the U.S. political debate this fall, as the 2024 elections approach. And that’s bad, because the pre-electoral debate is very unlikely to capture the complexities of migration management and processing—a very complex set of challenges.