Mexico has offered temporary work permits to migrants who register for asylum, as a big caravan of Central American migrants makes its way through the country toward the US.
The plan also envisages temporary ID cards, medical care and schooling.
But to qualify, migrants must remain in Mexico’s southern Chiapas and Oaxaca states.
The US has warned that about 800 troops may be sent to the US-Mexico border to stop the migrant caravan.
“I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency,” US President Donald Trump said earlier this week. “They [migrants] will be stopped!”
The president also threatened cutting aid to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
The caravan set off from Honduras several weeks ago.
The scheme, announced by President Peña Nieto, covers Central Americans who have officially asked for a refugee status in Mexico or are planning to do so in the nearest future.
“Today, Mexico extends you its hand,” President Nieto said.
But he added: “This plan is only for those who comply with Mexican laws, and it’s the first step towards a permanent solution for those who are granted refugee status in Mexico.”
The plan envisages:
Temporary ID cards and work permits
Schooling for migrants’ children
Housing in local hostels
But President Nieto failed to explain what would happen to the migrants if they chose to carry on regardless.
The Mexican authorities are coming under increasing pressure from the Trump Administration to find a solution to this caravan