On Thursday, Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) from the Morena Party, announced a new policy which aims to change the country's relationship with Central America: work visas for undocumented immigrants.
AMLO believes providing economic opportunities for people migrating in search of jobs, will help avoid economic migration. "The second step is a development plan which includes Central America, to promote productive activities ... we are going to offer jobs to Central American migrants. This is our plan. Whoever wants to work in our country is going to have support, through a work visa," Lopez Obrador reportedly said in a recent call with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Currently, there is a "visiting worker card" program, in Mexico, which allows entry and re-entry to people from Belize and Guatemala only. Hondurans, who make up the largest portion of Central Americans traveling to the United States, are not included and are required to request a visa to enter Mexico.
The visa program is part of Mexico's incoming government's strategy to promote development in Central America, which also includes plans to invest in the region's countries. One such initiative is to build a railway in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The visa program comes at a moment when President Trump is pressing Mexico to stop a migrant caravan heading for the United States. Trump has repeatedly threatened to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border — that is, closing it — and pulling economic aid, if Mexico does not comply.