Photo: Alvaro Colom
The President of Guatemala, Alvaro Colom is suggesting that Mexico issue temporary immigration permits to Central Americans crossing Mexico to reach the US. This is an effort to provide safer passage to the immigrants who often fall prey to organized crime.
Speaking in a interview with a local newspaper, Colom wants to reach an agreement with Mexico in order to find “a safe and valid way to legalize migrants and, secondly, to strengthen our relationship with social networks that welcome immigrants.”
Each year between 200,000 and 300,000 undocumented Central American immigrants cross Mexico intending to reach the United States. Mexico has been criticized for its government’s treatments of migrants. Travelers face the danger of drug cartels, kidnappers, thieves, and others trying to extort them.
Colom recognized the “important work” offered by dozens of shelters to migrants passing through Mexico. Many of these are operated by Catholic parishes and religious orders. Referring to the issue of documentation, Colom said “To regulate migrants would resolve many of the issues surrounding kidnappers, fraudsters, the coyote (criminal gangs), and people traffickers.”