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Mexican Foreign Minister urges US to regularise migrants' legal status

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Mexican Foreign Minister urges US to regularise migrants' legal status

Mexican Foreign Minister, Alicia Barcena, has emphasized the crucial role of Mexican migrant workers in the US economy, calling for their legal status regularization in a press conference. Mexicans contribute over $324 billion annually to the US economy in sectors like agriculture, services, and construction.

Barcena urged the US to regularize undocumented Mexicans who have been working in the country for over five years, including half a million young people protected by the DACA Act. The call comes as the influx of migrants at the US-Mexico border reached unprecedented levels at the end of 2023, with nearly 250,000 encounters recorded by US Customs and Border Protection in December – the highest monthly total on record.

To address mass migration, Barcena suggested that the US allocate a budget of $20 billion annually to promote development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has proposed these measures to US President Joe Biden, along with others like controlling the flow of US weapons into Mexico.

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Mexico, as per the foreign ministry, faces all phases of the immigration cycle, from being a source of migrants to a transit country, a destination, and a point of return for deportees. There are approximately 37.3 million Mexicans residing in the US, with 5.3 million being undocumented, according to the Mexican government. The ministry also called for Washington to lift sanctions on Venezuela and trade embargo against Cuba for better migration management.

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