Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mexico, US sign memorandum to fortify immigrant labor rights

The United States and Mexico have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to strengthen labor rights and protect unaccompanied migrant minors in both countries.

The memorandum, signed on Tuesday, follows agreements to improve paths to regular migration made during the 10th North American Leaders Summit (NALS), which took place from Jan. 9-10. 

In a statement, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) said the memorandum is “the result of dialogue and collaboration between two binational working groups.” 

US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, left, Mexico Ambassador to U.S. Esteban Moctezuma, right
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, left, and Mexico Ambassador to the U.S. Esteban Moctezuma, right, were all smiles as they signed the document, which was hammered out at the North American Leaders’ Conference last week. (Photo: @USAmbMex/Twitter)

The document was signed by the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Esteban Moctezuma Barragán and his U.S. counterpart, Ambassador Ken Salazar, during a ceremony at the SRE headquarters. 

“Regular migration benefits everyone: companies, workers and their labor rights, the economies, as well as the order and legality of the two countries,” Moctezuma said. 

The U.S. and Mexican governments seek to achieve the following: 

  • Ensure the ethical hiring of Mexican non-immigrant workers with H2 employer-sponsored work visas. 
  • Collaborate to protect workers’ wages and working conditions. 
  • Further facilitate the availability of temporary agricultural workers from Mexico in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations of both countries. 

The U.S. will share information from the National Employment Service’s new digital platform to facilitate the direct hiring of workers and will provide training on combating labor discrimination to the consular networks of both countries. This will allow Mexican authorities to assist their citizens working in the U.S. to assert their labor rights. 

The agreement also states an intention to establish quarterly meetings to monitor, prevent and address labor violations. Officials will also discuss ways to keep companies from retaliating against workers who make complaints. 

The two governments are also trying to establish improved bilateral mechanisms for protecting unaccompanied minors in migratory situations, the document said.

“[The memorandum] seeks to guarantee that minor migrants do not have to move irregularly through the region and, fundamentally, that they avoid coming into contact with criminal networks engaged in human trafficking and smuggling,” the SRE said in a statement. “Due to the transnational nature of migratory flows, the document also seeks to support other countries in the region to promote international cooperation in their protection policies for minors.” 

With reports from Aristegui and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico

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