Labor Programs Presented at the Summit of the AmericasByAnamary Olivas |Mon, 06/13/2022 - 18:51
Within the framework of the Summit of the Americas, Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, promised to expand temporary work permits for refugees crossing the country’s national borders in order to reduce irregular migration in the region. The proposed plan would allow for the hiring of between 15,000 and 20,000 migrants from Guatemala per year. This would reinforce the Mexican workforce while benefitting Guatemalan economy through remittances and a lower unemployment rate. The program would then expand to Honduras and El Salvador in the medium term.
Additionally, Ebrard said that the Lopez Obrador administration will expand the program based on Border Worker Visitor Cards (TVTF), which allows people from Belize and Guatemala to work in the states of Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco and Quintana Roo. This expansion aims to double the yearly number of permits granted from 10,000 to 20,000. The program aims to offer people from Central America working opportunities while decreasing vacancies in Mexico by bringing the human capital required to cover them.
Both programs will receive support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which will also be involved in the recruitment process to guarantee the rights of the migrant workers. To accomplish these goals, Ebrard indicated that new working groups involving both countries will be created to strengthen visa programs while reinforcing cooperation between the two administrations.
Another program discussed at the Summit was the extension of the Youth Building the Future program in the US, intending to benefit 3000 young people from the Mexican American community in Los Angeles. It is mainly focused on strengthening the labor market skills of applicants to make them more suited for qualified jobs. It also seeks to build a bridge between the local youth and companies, directing human capital to where it is needed. The institutions involved in this program are the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) and the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME).
Many labor initiatives were discussed at the Summit, but they must be monitored to guarantee their successful implementation. “Summits are, in the end, largely about rhetoric. Making a real difference regarding safer migration, greater economic growth and prosperity takes more than a few days of meetings. This Summit of the Americas showed how early it is in the hemisphere for tackling these pressing issues. Success depends on what comes next,” said Shannon K. O'Neil, Vice President of Studies, as well as Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow, Latin America Studies.