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

  • World
  • Saturday, 29 Jun 2019

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico is finalising a deal to provide 40,000 factory jobs to migrants in northern states, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday, addressing a key need for the thousands waiting in Mexico as their U.S. asylum cases are decided.

Speaking at his daily press conference, Lopez Obrador said he expected an agreement with factories to be signed next 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."

Mexico's border states have been inundated with migrants who must often wait weeks to seek U.S. asylum under a policy known as "metering," which limits the number who can apply each day. After requesting asylum, thousands have been sent back to Mexico while they wait for their cases to be settled, a process that can take months or years.

The bottleneck shows no signs of easing. Mexico pledged earlier this month to do more to halt the flow of migrants to the United States after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on Mexican exports.

Factories in northern Mexico have grappled with labour shortages, so migrants could prove a boon for employers.

Although Lopez Obrador has doubled the minimum wage along the U.S. border, pay there remains lower than the minimum wage in Central American countries such as Guatemala and Honduras, from which many of the migrants are fleeing.

What's more, many migrants lack authorization to work in the country, and border cities including Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez have struggled to house them in shelters as their numbers swell.

Lopez Obrador added that 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.

Lopez Obrador also expressed a desire to guarantee work and shelter for migrants in southern Mexico.

Immigration centres in the region have become increasingly overcrowded as Mexican officials ramp up the detention of migrants headed for the northern border.

(Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Julia Love; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

SpaceX lands NASA launch contract for mission to Jupiter's moon Europa
Magnitude 6.7 quake hits south of Manila
Israeli troops kill Palestinian teen in West Bank clash, say officials
Biden assures Afghan president of continued U.S. support -White House
Venezuela says U.S. military plane violated its airspace
Guatemala attorney general removes head of anti-corruption unit
Biden authorizes $100 million in emergency funds for Afghan refugees
Blinken to raise human rights with counterparts in India -U.S. official
Over 71% of Lebanon's population risks losing access to safe water - UNICEF
Senior U.S. diplomat to lead talks with Russia next week -State Department

Stories You'll Enjoy