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Mexico is offering temporary IDs, jobs to keep migrants in the country

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migrant caravan
A
young man runs to catch up to a group of Honduran migrants trying
to reach the U.S. border as they walk along train tracks in
Trancas Viejas, Veracruz state, Wednesday, Oct. 24,
2018.

AP Photo/Rebecca
Blackwell


  • In an effort to dissuade
    a group of 7000 Central American migrants
    from heading to
    the US, Mexico is offering those who register for asylum in
    their country temporary identification papers, jobs, and
    schooling for their children.
  • President Donald Trump has threatened to cut aid to
    countries where most of the immigrants are coming from like
    Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvado if they didn’t stop
    the migrants from heading to the US.
  • In order for immigrants to be eligible for these
    provisions they must remain in the country’s southern states of
    Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said,
    cited by the Associated Press. 
  • Immigrants who don’t fall under those requirements will
    be subject to deportation. ‘
  • More than 1700 people from the group of Central
    American immigrants have registered for asylum in Mexico, the
    Mexican government said, according to the Associated
    Press.

PIJIJIAPAN, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexico on Friday offered
temporary identification papers and jobs to migrants who register
for asylum in the country, stepping up efforts to halt the
advance of a U.S.-bound Central American caravan that has angered
Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to close the
U.S.-Mexico border and cut aid to Central America to try to stop
the caravan of several thousand people. U.S. officials have said
that up to 1,000 troops may be sent to the U.S. southern border
to prevent the migrants from crossing.

Making reference to the caravan, Mexican President Enrique Pena
Nieto said that migrants wishing to obtain temporary
identification documents, jobs or education for their children
could do so by registering for asylum in southern Mexico.

“This plan is only for those who comply with Mexican laws, and
it’s a first step towards a permanent solution for those who are
granted refugee status in Mexico,” Pena Nieto said in a
pre-recorded address broadcast on Friday afternoon.

To qualify for the scheme he called “Estas en Tu Casa” (‘Make
Yourself at Home’) migrants had to be in the southern states of
Chiapas and Oaxaca, Pena Nieto said.

Temporary work in the states would be extended so as also to
benefit Mexicans, said Pena Nieto, who leaves office on Nov. 30.

The caravan, which is moving through Chiapas on the border of
Guatemala, has enabled Trump to campaign hard on illegal
immigration ahead of midterm congressional elections on Nov. 6,
in which Republicans are battling to keep control of Congress.

Mexican officials have said those migrants who do not qualify for
refugee status are liable to be deported.

Mexico’s government has said that more than 1,700 people in the
convoy have registered for asylum, while others have returned
home. Estimates on the size of the group vary.

Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador to Mexico, told Mexican
radio on Friday that the caravan could reach Mexico City by next
Friday. He put an “official” headcount at 3,500, estimating that
at least two-thirds of them were Hondurans.

The caravan set off in Honduras nearly two weeks ago, and has
picked up other Central Americans en route.

Alexander Fernandez, a Honduran traveling in the caravan, said
people began leaving the town of Pijijiapan at about 3 a.m. to
head for Arriaga, a town in the west of Chiapas.

A banner hanging over a bridge on the migrants’ path read: “Your
hearts are brave, don’t give up.”

Tens of thousands of Central Americans set off for the United
States every year, looking to escape violence and poverty.
Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans make up the bulk of
illegal immigrants apprehended at the U.S. border.

On Thursday night, thousands of people took refuge under small
tents or teepees made from garbage bags in Pijijiapan’s town
square. Many people rushed to a nearby river in the afternoon to
wash off the sweat of travel and extreme heat.

A White House official said on Thursday that “a wide range of
administrative, legal and legislative options” were being
considered regarding the migrants.

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