"Los Deportados”: The Transnational Blowback of the United States Deportation Practices and the Hidden Costs of Mass Deportation




Aguilar, Hansel Alejandro

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The narratives of deportees’ experiences as they are forcibly returned “home” deserves more attention especially if the United States government fails to achieve comprehensive immigration reform in the near future. What is happening to los deportados we have been sending to their “homes” in Latin America that are struggling to maintain their societal structure with their current populations? This thesis explores how Honduran immigrant deportees are being reintegrated in their “homeland”. Through ethnographic research of the practices of the Honduran agency responsible for receiving the migrants and general observations of Honduran society, semi-structured, in-depth interviews with deportees and content analysis of major United States and Honduran newspapers, this thesis explores how the systemic inefficiencies of the United States deportation practices result in a transnational blowback affecting both the United States and the Honduran societies. Moreover, the study explores how Honduran institutions are playing a role in the reintegration of their returned migrants and how these migrants are forming or reforming their identities post deportation. The findings of this study allude to an unspoken and undiscussed transnational blowback that has severe social, economic, and political costs. Moreover, the study outlines how neither the current United States deportation system nor the receiving Honduran society have a successful mechanism for individuals to be reintegrated into their native societies thus resulting in: 1) the recidivism of immigration violations (i.e. reentry); 2) marginalization of returned migrants which leads to the creation of “floating populations”; and 3) negative economic ramifications for both Honduran society and US society.



Deportation, Transnational, Repatriation, Reintegration, Deportado, Blowback