Newly-elected President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced at a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City that his administration plans to grant more work visas to migrants coming from Central America:
“It’s about giving options, giving alternatives, so those who leave their towns in search of work will have work opportunities. Whoever wants to work in our country will have support, will have a work visa, [we] won’t address the issue only with deportations or shows of force.”
President Lopez Obrador also urged the U.S government to do the same as part of negotiations to stem the flow of migrants. The President said he would discuss the issue with US President Donald Trump in the coming days:
“We are proposing investment in productive projects and in job creation, and not only that, also work visas for Mexico and for the United States.
“It is very important to us that we reach an investment agreement between companies and governments, to create jobs in Central America and our country.”
Mexico and Washington have been in talks regarding the management of migrant caravans fleeing Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, moving through Mexico hoping to seek asylum in the US.
After winning the election in July, President Obrador sent a letter to Trump suggesting that they plan together on how to resolve immigration problems.
Lopez Obrador disclosed that his government plans to launch major infrastructure projects including a refinery and two railways in the impoverished south of Mexico in order to provide jobs to Mexicans and migrants from Central America.
When asked about the U.S. proposal to return Central American asylum seekers to Mexican territory while their cases are being processed by U.S. courts, he replied that only their rights will be respected.
It would be interesting to know what President Trump’s response would be to Lopez Obrador’s proposal for the U.S. to grant work visas to migrant workers from Central America.
The idea alone runs contrary to the U.S President’s position on curtailing immigration to the United States.