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A migrant caravan gets ready to head north from Tapachula, Chiapas, in November 2021. A migrant caravan gets ready to leave Tapachula, Chiapas. Ben Wein

US to give temporary work visas to 150,000 migrants in Mexico

The work plan will be formally announced next month, the minister said

The United States will issue 150,000 temporary work visas to Mexicans and migrants currently in Mexico, Interior Minister Adán Augusto López Hernández said Wednesday.

An additional 150,000 visas will go to people in Central American countries, López Hernández said during a visit to Tijuana, Baja California. The interior minister said that a formal announcement about the temporary work scheme will be made during President López Obrador’s visit to the White House next month.

López Obrador has long been pushing for the United States to offer temporary work visas to Central Americans in order to stem illegal migration to the U.S. López Hernández said that the federal government speaks to its U.S. counterpart about migration issues every day.

“Now the president is going to Washington next month and an announcement will be made. The American government agreed to give … 300,000 temporary work visas – 150,000 will be for Mexicans or foreigners who are in Mexico today waiting for the possibility to migrate north,” he said during a meeting with Baja California business leaders.

Huge numbers of migrants from Central America, Caribbean countries such as Haiti and Cuba, South America and even African and Asian nations have entered Mexico in recent years to travel to the northern border in order to seek asylum in the United States or enter that country between official crossing points. Many have found themselves stranded here for months or longer.

López Hernández claimed that the United States’ issuance of temporary work visas “will help us to reduce tension” among migrants stuck in Mexico, many of whom live in dangerous border cities such as Tijuana and Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

He acknowledged that a lot of Mexicans are also forced to migrate due to poverty and a lack of opportunities in their places of origin. “Mexicans and Central Americans don’t migrate for pleasure, they migrate due to necessity,” the minister said.

With reports from Reforma 

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