Update 1- Mexico again asks US to reactivate immigrant work visas, seeks to contain caravan

(Update with statements from the President of Mexico, context)

Mexico’s President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said Thursday that Mexico will assure the United States that it needs to grant temporary work visas to thousands of immigrants, as the Latin American country seeks to contain the advance of a new caravan.

Over the weekend, hundreds of migrants began a new caravan aimed at reaching the country’s capital where many will seek mechanisms to speed up their asylum procedure in Mexico, having waited up to a year in Tapachula, a border city with Guatemala.

“Next week at the latest, I will send a message (to President Biden) that we cannot just detain, detain, or address the causes, people do not leave their villages for pleasure, and they do not abandon their families for pleasure,” Lopez Obrador said at his press conference. The Daily: “He does it out of necessity.”

In his letter, the president again asked the United States for funding to replicate two work programs in his administration, in the field and for youth, in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to create 240,000 jobs and 90,000 apprenticeships in those countries.

He said the strategy rejected by its northern neighbor should be accompanied by a program of temporary work visas for recipients from Washington.

The president also noted the dangers faced by the thousands of immigrants who cross the country every year, often directed by smugglers, which has led to numerous killings, some of the worst in North Tamaulipas, on the border with the United States, right up to the last during his administration.

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However, despite government warnings, the advance of groups of 100 to 500 people led to new clashes between foreigners, mostly Haitians, and members of the Military National Guard who violently tried to slow their passage. Testimonials and videos posted on networks.

Mexico’s government has said it will respect the rights of migrants, but human rights organizations such as the United Nations have warned against excessive use of force during containment operations, which this week led to the dismissal of two immigration agents. (Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez and Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Lisbeth Diaz)

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