Mexican president announces plan to provide 40,000 factory jobs to migrants

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [AP]

By Caribbean News Now contributor

MÉRIDA, Mexico – In search of solutions to the crucial need for thousands waiting in Mexico as their US asylum cases are decided, president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday, Mexico is finalizing a deal to provide 40,000 factory jobs to migrants in northern states, an agreement with factories to be signed this week.

“This agreement is going to be signed, there will be no legal problem,” he said. “We are arranging this so that they can be hired without much processing.”

US immigration policy known as “metering,” limits the number of applicants who can apply for US asylum and/or enter the US daily at the Southern border for political and economic opportunities.

Last month Mexico and the United States recognize the vital importance of rapidly resolving the humanitarian emergency and security situation agreed to work together to immediately implement a durable solution on Mexican enforcement surge, migrant protection protocols as well as ongoing regional strategy.

US-Mexico joint declaration on migrant and regional strategy

In a bid to guarantee work and shelter for migrants in southern Mexico, Lopez Obrador also announced plans were underway to build shelters and provide additional resources to the overtaxed facilities already in operation.

“Funds are being authorized so there will be resources in the shelters, so they do not lack food, medicine, medical attention,” he said. Border cities including Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez migrants struggle to find adequate housing and shelters, consequent on the huge numbers that arrive on a daily basis.

Despite the difficulties, the migrant and refugee crisis also create an immense opportunity to integrate millions who are willing to work, study, and positively impact the countries that receive them.

However, the deficiency of authorization to work is a major issue migrants face, even as factories in northern Mexico that have difficulties with labor shortages could prove a bonanza for employers.

Lopez Obrador has doubled the minimum wage, but it is still inadequate, while thousands of citizens from Central America’s Northern Triangle – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seek asylum at the Mexican-US border due to hunger and violence in their home countries. 

President Donald Trump response to divert hundreds of millions of dollars in aid totalling some $370 million for fiscal 2018 and an additional $180 million approved by Congress for fiscal 2017 does little to solve social and economic deprivation.

Representative Eliot L. Engel, ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said previously; “Since president Trump took office, Congress has rejected his misguided effort to slash foreign assistance to Central America, a region that continues to be plagued by violence and poverty.”

Budgets set priorities, Lopez Obrador has earmarked a specific plan towards public investments. But more importantly, US policy towards two core areas, immigration and foreign assistance to Central America are likely to remain unchanged.

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