Earlier this month, Mexican police in Chiapas busted two tractor-trailers crammed with hundreds of men and women, squatting on the floor or grasping ropes to avoid getting crushed. There were seven people for every square yard, a total of five hundred and thirteen migrants in suffocating temperatures of over one hundred and five degrees, marking the biggest human-smuggling bust in Mexico’s recent history. The passengers had each paid seven thousand dollars to get into the U.S. The undocumented immigrants will now be sent, penniless, back to their homelands, mostly Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador but some as far afield as India and Nepal. Since Tuesday, the government of Mexico passed a new law that will protect any undocumented migrant on Mexican territory by way of a special visa. Press Officer of the Embassy of Mexico tells us more.
Marcelino Miranda, Press Officer, Embassy of Mexico
“The most important feature of this new immigration law in Mexico is that it is going to provide a whole range of protection for Migrants especially for Migrants from Central America to the United States. This is an important piece of legislation because they are reinforcing certain principles in uh that the Government of Mexico is trying to protect. One of them is to protect the life and the security of migrants. Another one is to protect families and to allow to rejoin undocumented migrants who are in Mexico their relatives back in their countries of origin and also to provide for the proper medical attention and education of [uhh] for migrants who are in México.”
“So I know under this new immigration law the undocumented migrants also get the opportunity to obtain a special visa?”
“Yes one of the provisions of this new law is that those undocumented migrants who travelling through Mexico by the southern border of Guatemala and Belize, they are going to, the Government of Mexico going to provide them with special documents when they need to be protected and so the details about it. They will stay in special residences where they will be allowed to stay until they can return to their countries of origin.”
“So this new law is applicable to Central American citizens, but also to people from around the world, say for example we have many Asians who use Mexico as way to get over to the United States?”
“Yes that’s right the new immigration law in Mexico is going to protect all nationals. They can be foreigners or they can be Mexicans travelling through Mexico. There are many provisions with education and protection. The important thing is that everybody is seen as equal before the law.”
Miranda says that the new legislation is only a part of a national integrated policy to combat transnational crimes, including human trafficking. Since Mexico eliminated undocumented migration as an offence last year, they have been making provisions to provide for their safety.