Mexico reaches out to returnees
Officials create job bank, ease education transfers, extend loan program
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Tuesday said his country is taking steps to ease the return of young immigrants whose deportation protection is being rescinded by the Trump administration, but he also acknowledged they would prefer to stay in the United States.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.
Elisa Jimenez, director of the California Mental Health Connection, takes a selfie with Mexico Secretary of Foreign Relations Luis Videgaray.