Mexico City (AFP) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered 4,000 jobs Friday to migrants in a new caravan currently crossing Central America toward the United States.
“We have more than 4,000 jobs along our southern border, and also migrant shelters. There is work in our country,” the leftist leader said at his daily news conference.
The caravan, which formed in Honduras this week and is making its way across Guatemala, currently has around 3,000 migrants, Lopez Obrador said.
According to Guatemala’s new President Alejandro Giammattei, Mexico has vowed to use “everything at its disposal” to stop them.
Mexico has come under pressure from President Donald Trump to slow a surge of undocumented migrants who arrived at the US-Mexican border last year.
Trump threatened in May to impose tariffs on Mexico if the government did not do more to stop them.
Cornered, Lopez Obrador’s administration deployed 27,000 National Guardsmen to tighten its borders and has allowed the United States to send more than 40,000 asylum-seekers back to Mexico while their cases are processed, under the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy.
Human Rights Watch accused Mexico Tuesday of violating migrants’ rights by failing to guarantee the security of those returned by the United States and detaining others in “inhumane conditions.”
Tens of thousands of Central American migrants crossed Mexico toward the United States last year in large caravans, fleeing chronic poverty and brutal gang violence and seeking safety in numbers from the dangers of the journey.
That prompted Trump to warn of an “invasion” and deploy nearly 6,000 US troops to the border.