Mexican officers mentioned Sunday they’ll give out humanitarian visas on a “limited basis” to a number of the roughly 2,500 Central American and Caribbean migrants gathered within the southern state of Chiapas.
The Nationwide Migration Institute (INM) mentioned precedence will probably be given to girls, youngsters and migrants over the age of 65 “whose situation merits” a visa. Distribution is scheduled to start out Monday.
The assertion got here as President Trump has threatened to shut U.S. border crossings with Mexico except the nation prevents hundreds of Central American migrants from reaching the border, the place they might both cross or request asylum. Present U.S. legislation doesn’t require asylum seekers to current themselves at an official border crossing level.
On Sunday, Homeland Safety Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted: “The security and humanitarian crisis at our southern border is getting worse every day.” Nielsen mentioned final week her company apprehended greater than 75,000 migrants on the U.S. southern border in February, a 12-year excessive.
“[Trump] and I have been warning Congress that failure to fix our immigration laws would be catastrophic…now here we are, in the middle of a catastrophe,” Nielsen tweeted Sunday. “This isn’t the time to be partisan. Now could be the time to behave decisively to deal with the disaster.
“I’ll say it once more & once more & once more,” Nielsen added, “failure to behave is placing lives in danger — particularly youngsters who’re exploited, pawned & in some circumstances ‘recycled’ by smugglers & traffickers. Unhealthy guys know our outdated legal guidelines & they’re utilizing/re-using youngsters as a ‘free ticket’ into America.”
Mexico has gave the impression to be each tiring of the migrant caravans and keen to not anger america. It has stopped granting migrants humanitarian visas on the border, and cities alongside the well-traveled route by way of southern Mexico generally not permit caravans to spend the night time. Fewer non-public residents have been providing meals and rides to weary vacationers.
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The INM mentioned Sunday it will present bus transportation again to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras for residents of these nations, and air transport dwelling to migrants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua. Starting within the second half of Might, the company mentioned Mexico would challenge humanitarian visas within the capitals of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — in addition to in San Pedro Sula, Honduras — “for circumstances that advantage this situation.” Mexico has indicated it additionally will proceed to challenge short-term work visas in these cities for Central Individuals wishing to reside and work in southern Mexico.
The purpose of the visa restrictions, the institute mentioned, has been to realize a extra orderly, regulated and secure worldwide motion of individuals. The most important of final yr’s migrant caravans by way of Mexico contained about 7,000 folks at its peak.
The Related Press contributed to this report.