Mexico gives first work permits to Central American migrants

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-28 14:02:47|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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MEXICO CITY, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Mexico had given temporary work permits to 111 Central American migrants who accepted a program announced by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, the Interior Ministry said Saturday.

The ministry said the permits will allow the Central American migrants to have access to paid employment and medical attention in the south and southeastern area of Mexico.

The migrants are part of caravan, mostly Hondurans, who are making their way to the United States.

The program, "Estas en tu casa" (You're at home), offers support to migrants who process their refugee status at the National Institute of Migration after entering the southern border on Oct. 19.

The migrants receiving the permits were taken to two open-door shelters, where they will stay while their request for refugee status is being processed, the ministry said in a statement.

"This group is made up of entire families, as well as elderly people, pregnant women, children, adolescents and disabled," the ministry said.

The program was announced by Pena Nieto on Friday, as a way to address the issue of migrants taking part in the caravan.

An estimated 1,700 migrants who were part of the caravan requested asylum after crossing the border into Mexico. However, thousands more continued in the caravan, which on Saturday was between the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, some 300 km from the border point where they entered the country.

According to the spokesperson for the United Nations Farhan Aziz Haq, there are more than 7,000 people in the caravan. However, the Mexican government said that it calculated the number of people at about 3,600.

The Mexican government has called the flow of Central American migrants unheard of, while U.S. President Donald Trump has insisted he will not allow the immigrants to enter the country and has threatened to send troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The migrants said they left Honduras because of economic hardships and violence.