Canada will lift visa restrictions for Mexican travellers effective Dec. 1, providing that President Enrique Peña Nieto offers assurances there won’t be a flood of people from Mexico claiming refugee status, the Toronto Globe & Mail reports.
But government insiders say the Trudeau government is prepared to reimpose the restrictions if the number of asylum seekers jumps above a set level.
Sources say officials in Citizenship and Immigration opposed the move, warning that Mexico’s low standard of living, poor human-rights record and high crime rates will drive Mexicans to seek refuge in Canada.
The officials also expressed concern that asylum seekers in other Latin American countries, wishing to gain entry to Canada, could take advantage of Mexico’s weak passport system without having to undergo Canada’s rigorous visa screening.
They told the federal cabinet that removing visa restrictions – imposed by the former Conservative government in 2009 to stem a spike in refugee claims – would result in 3,500 asylum claims in 2017, up to 6,000 the following year and 9,000 in 2019.
The Liberal cabinet overrode the bureaucrats but set specific conditions for Mexico to meet, including a partial reimposition of visas if asylum seekers reach a threshold of 3,500 within any 12-month period. Low-risk travellers, having either a valid U.S. visa or a 10-year Canadian visa, would be eligible for an electronic travel authorization.
Sources say Mr. Nieto, who arrives in Canada on Monday, has assured the Canadian government that Mexico will share security and background information on Mexicans travellers, similar to what is done between Canada and the United States.
Mexico will also issue travel warnings to its citizens, explaining that Canada is not an easy country in which to seek refugee status and they must abide by Canadian laws, sources say.
“We are trying to make sure the onus is on them to make sure it is legitimate travel,” a senior government official told The Globe and Mail. The official acknowledged there was pushback from Citizen and Immigration officials, but attributed that to years of working for the Harper Conservatives, which took a hardline approach to bogus refugee claims.
At a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he and Mr. Nieto “will work to fix some of the challenges that have been going on for too long, like the visa issues.”
Sources say the visa agreement will be announced on Tuesday after bilateral talks between the two leaders. The visa issue has been a sore point with the Mexicans, which the Prime Minister promised to rescind in an effort to develop a much closer relationship with Mexico.
To read the full story, click here.
more recommended stories
It’s official! Chargers vs Chiefs, November 18, 2019 in Mexico City
Mark your calendars for November 18,.
More than 30 wildfires have been registered across Mexico so far this year
Over 30 forest fires were registered.
FBI arrests leader of armed group stopping migrants in New Mexico
TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – According to.
Massacre in Minatitlán Veracruz, gunmen kill 14 at a family celebration
Gunmen shot dead 14 people at.
Despite the partial closure of the US-Mexico border, Yucatecan exports grow steadily
“Despite the partial closures that have.
Yucatan’s export sector with significant growth this year (INDEX)
The president of Export Manufacturing Industries.
No more sympathy in Chiapas for Central American immigrants traveling northward
MAPASTEPEC, Mexico (Reuters) – So many.
Cartel threatens López Obrador again
MEXICO (Reforma Agencia). – The Santa.
Top 10 cleanest beaches in Mexico
A few days ago, SEMARNAT and.
Canadian assassinated in Progreso, Yucatan
PROGRESO Yucatan.- (POLICE REPORT/SSP) Yesterday at.