July 10, 2019 / Modified jul 10, 2019 10:52 a.m.

Some US asylum seekers find work in northern Mexico

A Mexican official says hundreds have found work and factories have offered thousands of jobs.

border fence tijuana The international line between Mexico and the U.S. ends at the Pacific Ocean, with Tijuana on the left.
Josh Denmark/Customs and Border Protection

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s top diplomatic official says hundreds of Central American migrants who have been sent to Mexico to await the outcome of their U.S. asylum claims have secured jobs in factories near the border.

Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said in a press conference in Mexico City on Monday that 327 people have obtained work. Some 16 shelters have offered help and factories have offered some 3,700 jobs, Ebrard said.

Mexico has taken in almost 17,000 U.S. asylum applicants under a controversial Trump administration practice that forces them to wait in Mexico for a process that could take more than a year. Ebrard has previously said his government doesn’t agree with what the Trump administration refers to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy but will take steps to help the people being returned.

“The main goal was to offer jobs to people who are waiting in Mexico for their hearing in the U.S.,” Ebrard said.

Migrants have been sent back through the ports of entry in San Diego, Calexico and El Paso. Administration officials have said they plan to expand to other ports including Nogales, Arizona.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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