Nieto’s plan provides temporary ID cards and work permits, housing in local hotels, and medical care for all migrants. It also offers schooling for all children.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has offered work permits and benefits to all members of the migrant caravan who apply for refugee status and stop traveling towards the US-Mexico border.

Currently, an estimated 7,000 migrants are traveling in groups near the town of Arriaga, Chiapas. This caravan includes people fleeing from violence in Central American nations of Honduras and El Salvador, as well as economic migrants who hope to find work in the United States.

After a brief clash with Mexican police, the migrant caravan crossed from Guatemala into the state of Chiapas last weekend. The majority waved their opportunity to apply for asylum at the border and continued traveling into Mexico without documentation.

“Estas en Tu Casa” – “This is Your Home”

President Nieto announced this relief scheme – titled “Estas en Tu Casa”, meaning “This is Your Home” – after US President Donald Trump tweeted his refusal of entry for migrants without papers, and threatened to deploy military to the border.

 

Nieto’s plan provides temporary ID cards and work permits, housing in local hotels, and medical care for all migrants. It also offers schooling for all children.

However, migrants must disengage from the caravan, and stay in the southern states of Mexico and Oaxaca.

“This plan is only for those who comply with Mexican laws, and it’s a first step towards a permanent solution for those who are granted refugee status in Mexico,” Nieto said.

Media reports suggest that many migrants will not accept this offer, and will continue traveling the remaining 1,000 miles to reach the US.

“It’s a kind offer, but it’s not the plan that we have, to stay here halfway up,” Anna Lisset Velazquez, a Honduran migrant in the caravan, told BBC.

Victims of domestic abuse and gang violence are now excluded from asylum in the US, a change announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in June. Those fleeing poverty and economic struggles are also ineligible for refugee status.

International law does dictate that the migrants can make a case for asylum at the border.

President Nieto has not elaborated what action will be taken with the migrants who refuse his offer and travel beyond the state of Oaxaca. Authorities could choose to detain and deport all those who entered Mexico without applying for a visa or refugee status.

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