The Mexican government made an exchange with the United States: some tens of thousands of temporary non-agricultural work visas, mostly for Mexicans and some for Central Americans, in exchange for a new version of Stay in Mexico, now directed toward the Venezuelan population.
There is a logic to the agreement, benefiting Mexicans and targeting the populations with the greatest migration from Central America in recent months. Logical. The problem, or rather the question, is how much the Mexican government is willing to spend on resources and personnel to try to help the border communities that will receive the Venezuelans and that have been overwhelmed by migration for months.
The first Venezuelans deported as part of the new plan began arriving in border cities almost immediately after the announcement by both governments. There are five points: Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Piedras Negras and Matamoros.
The border shelters are all overflowing. There are mostly Guatemalan, Honduran or Salvadoran, even Haitian migrants. Even though the U.S. has tried to speed up some processes after the Trumpist policies, the infrastructure simply cannot handle so many thousands in the new waves from the south and from Mexico.
Recently, on our own Milenio TV channel, we gave an account of what is already happening in the streets … because there is no room in the shelters.
In an attempt to alleviate the pressure, Mexican authorities began the transfer of close to 100 Venezuelans to Mexico City. Other measures simply turned out to be a disaster, as reported by the Associated Press: Mexican immigration authorities loaded an initial group of Venezuelans, who were expelled on Thursday from the U.S., onto two buses and transferred them from the border city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, to the headquarters of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance in the center of the Mexican capital. Without food, with no protection from the cold, and totally disoriented, about 100 Venezuelans were left in front of the doors of COMAR on Saturday, which is not open during the weekend.
It is true, at least for now, that some temporary visas have been obtained. But half measures give only half solutions. We’ve been at it for decades.