Mex­ico reaches out to re­turnees

Of­fi­cials cre­ate job bank, ease ed­u­ca­tion trans­fers, ex­tend loan pro­gram

The Dallas Morning News - - Nation & World -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Mex­ico’s top diplo­mat on Tues­day said his coun­try is tak­ing steps to ease the re­turn of young im­mi­grants whose de­por­ta­tion pro­tec­tion is be­ing re­scinded by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, but he also ac­knowl­edged they would pre­fer to stay in the United States.

On a visit to Los An­ge­les, For­eign Re­la­tions Sec­re­tary Luis Vide­garay said his govern­ment is mak­ing it eas­ier to trans­fer ed­u­ca­tion cred­its and is ex­tend­ing a loan pro­gram for young en­trepreneurs.

He said Mex­ico also cre­ated a job bank with the im­mi­grants in mind af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump an­nounced his de­ci­sion to end the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals, or DACA, pro­gram that al­lows them to work in the U.S.

Mex­ico will also pro­vide le­gal as­sis­tance to im­mi­grants and lobby U.S. law­mak­ers to draft a plan for the im­mi­grants brought here as chil­dren — of­ten re­ferred to as Dream­ers — to ob­tain le­gal sta­tus.

“With each Dreamer who re­turns to Mex­ico, Mex­ico wins,” Vide­garay said at the Mex­i­can Con­sulate in Los An­ge­les. But, he added, “What is rel­e­vant is not which coun­try wins here. What is rel­e­vant here is what the Dream­ers want.”

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion to phase out the pro­gram dealt an es­pe­cially harsh blow to the Mex­i­can com­mu­nity in the U.S. be­cause about three-quar­ters of the 800,000 im­mi­grants pro­tected by the Obama-era pro­gram are Mex­i­can.

The de­ci­sion came as re­la­tions be­tween the coun­tries have been strained by Trump’s calls for a bor­der wall and rocky North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Reed Saxon/The As­so­ci­ated Press

Elisa Jimenez, di­rec­tor of the Cal­i­for­nia Men­tal Health Con­nec­tion, takes a selfie with Mex­ico Sec­re­tary of For­eign Re­la­tions Luis Vide­garay.

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