Mexico promises new, more humanistic policy for migrants on its southern border |

Mexico promises new, more humanistic policy for migrants on its southern border

Daily Staff Report

MEXICO CITY – Mexico has drawn up a new, more “humanistic, democratic and realistic” plan for handling migrants – mainly Central Americans – on its southern border, including legal changes, the Interior Department said on Thursday.The announcement comes a week after human rights officials criticized Mexico’s treatment of migrants and noted that Mexico uses some of the same methods to combat undocumented migration that it criticizes in the United States.The plan calls for “bringing immigration laws up to date,” but department officials were not immediately available to comment on whether that meant possible changes in current law, which considers illegal entry a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.Mexico has hotly criticized a U.S. House of Representatives bill that would make illegal immigration a felony and extend border walls.Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala and Belize is often crossed by Central Americans seeking to reach the United States.Mexico’s new plan “is aimed at better immigration management, increased respect for human rights and the preservation of the country’s border security.”The plan was drawn up after a series of meetings with academics, legislators and migrants between May and November, the department said in a press statement.Last week, the country’s federal Human Rights Commission presented a report citing overcrowding and bad conditions at about three-quarters of Mexico’s 51 immigration detention centers and 68 other holding facilities.The facilities often lack working bathrooms, blankets, sleeping mats, adequate food and medical care. Many detainees are forced to sleep on floors, and some holding areas lack the space to separate women and children, or detainees with infectious diseases.The commission urged the government to improve conditions and set clear standards for such facilities.Vail, Colorado

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