Mexico to give out work visas to Central American migrants
The program will give Central American workers from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua the opportunity to temporarily work on public infrastructure projects
May 23, 2023 8:38am
Updated: May 23, 2023 8:38am
President Andres Manuel Obrador on Monday said that Mexico will introduce a program later this week to give Central Americans temporary work visas.
"This week I am going to present a program for our Central American brothers so that they can have temporary visas to work in public works in Mexico so that they can be legally in our country with temporary work visas," said the president during a news conference.
The program will give Central American workers from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua the opportunity to temporarily work on public infrastructure projects, which require more welders, iron-workers, and engineers, Lopez Obrador said.
Some of the projects on which the migrants can be expected to work on are the rail line that is linking Mexico’s Pacific and Gulf coasts to increase trade, as well as a tourist train in the Yucatan Peninsula, known as the Maya Train.
"We need a workforce for these projects, especially if it's skilled labor," Lopez Obrador added. "We will guarantee them one year."
"It's important work," he added.
The president did not specify how many visas Mexico will give out or when the program is expected to start. He also did not specify the procedure that the migrants will have to follow to obtain temporary work visas.
Lopez Obrador has called for more investment in Central America in an effort to curb the thousands of migrants who are fleeing violence and poverty in the region and seeking a better life in Mexico or passing through the country to try to reach the United States.
"We seek a balance because there is a need for a skilled labor force in the country now ... It is not right to reject migrants when there is a need for a labor force," he emphasized.