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  • Central American migrants show their humanitarian bracelets that will allow them access to basic services in Mexico.

    Central American migrants show their humanitarian bracelets that will allow them access to basic services in Mexico. | Photo: Twitter / @albertopradilla

Published 17 January 2019

The government led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador changes the migratory policy regarding Central American migrants entering Mexico.

The Mexican government led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has implemented a change in the migratory policy and offered a special permit to members of the Migrants Caravan that try to enter Mexico (from Guatemala), so they can stay in Mexico documented for a year.

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According to David Leon Romero, National Coordinator of the Gobernation Secretary (Segob), 601 bracelets were put on members of the Migrants Caravan, who entered Mexico through the Rio Suchiate migratory station. For Romero what the Mexican government is interested in is "in the human side."

The bracelet will permit the identification of the migrants that are applying for the Migratory Form of Visitors due to Humanitarian Reasons, which last one year and will allow migrants to transit freely in Mexico, access to the Unique Code of Population Registration (CURP) for foreigners that will guarantee the access to public services such as education, health and employment.

"It is possible that we are facing the biggest change in the Central American migration model in a very long time. Humanitarian visas that are delivered in 5 days. Permission to move and work one year."

The Segob official said that in 2018 migrants were forced to enter Mexico in an undocumented manner, and were received by security forces officers. On Thursday, "We received here in Chiapas, in Suchiate, 601 migrants, who received this first humanitarian, health care and went to their immigration register," he explained.

According to journalist Alberto Padilla, this might represent "the biggest change in the Central American migration model in a very long time," as it will allow members of the migrants caravan to access humanitarian services in Mexico, instead of being expelled from the country.

The people who wish to access the visa for Humanitarian Reasons have to apply and enter documented into Mexico through a Migration office. The National Migration Institute (INM) will make the process go faster, it will only last 5 days instead of the 40 days that it usually takes.

"Those who so choose it, may access the request for refugee status or, qualify for a voluntary and assisted return. They can also look for immediate insertion with employment options in the region," David Leon Romero said.

He said that the migrants' first contact with Mexican authorities is with employees of the migratory system, "who tell the migrants their rights, greet them, give them information about the process they are going to live, together with staff from the Ministry of Health." As opposed to the former "border militarization" that was the usual practice in the country.

Journalist Jacobo Garcia stated on his Twitter account that this is "A historic change! Mexican authorities allow all members of the caravan to enter the country with a bracelet that enables free transit."


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