Mexico launches program to legalize foreign-born citizens

Global Business

As the U.S. prepares to have a tougher immigration policy under Donald Trump, Mexico is doing the opposite. Next January, the country will launch a program aiming to legalize 10,000 foreign-born residents.

CCTV’s Martin Markovits reports.

Mexico launches program to legalize foreign-born citizens

As the U.S. prepares to have a tougher immigration policy under Donald Trump, Mexico is doing the opposite. Next January, the country will launch a program aiming to legalize 10,000 foreign-born residents. CCTV’s Martin Markovits reports.

At 14-years- old, Stephanie Rivera immigrated to Mexico from her native Honduras with the dream of one day going to beauty school. But because she was in Mexico illegally she was denied enrollment.

Stephanie sold cupcakes on the streets of Mexico City and is fearful she might be deported but that soon may all change.

Next January, Mexico launches a program that will legalize up to 10,000 illegal foreigners. It will allow immigrants who have been in the country for at least two years to apply for a work permit and a temporary four -year residence visa.

The program comes amid an ongoing immigration crisis on the Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. Thousands from Central America are fleeing gang violence and crossing into Mexico to reach the U.S.

Government officials said Mexico’s 2012 immigration law was created to help overhaul an antiquated and complicated system. The law made it easier for illegal immigrants to gain residency and get citizenship.

“These are people who have already made their lives here. That is why we believe they need to be legalized and not criminalized. We believe in giving them their papers so they can go on to live dignified lives. They will now be able to legally work and walk down the street without having the fear of being deported,” Maria Fernanda Garcia, official at the National Institute of Migration said.

While no immigration registry exists, the INM estimates between 10,000 and 15,000 immigrants are living illegally in the country.

Thanks to this new program which runs through December 18th next year, Stephanie Rivera and other immigrants won’t fear deportation. Instead, they will finally have the stability to continue on with their lives.