In an effort to curb migration, the Mexican government will work with Honduras to create up to 20,000 jobs and support the country’s coffee farmers. After President Donald Trump threatened Mexico with tariffs, the Mexican government pledged to take steps to reduce migration. Now, we’re starting to see what such efforts might look like.
Mexico’s actions shed light on an important point: many of the migrants making their way to the United States are doing so with hopes of improving their economic prospects. By creating more opportunities in Honduras and other economically struggling Central American countries, it may be possible to discourage people from leaving in the first place.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard stated that President Lopez Obrador has instructed him to create 20,000 jobs between now and December. Even if Mexico should fall short on the ambitious plans, the move suggests that the Mexican government is taking migration seriously.
Honduran coffee farmers have struggled this year as international coffee prices have dropped. Mexico has pledged to support them. The Mexican government has stated that tree planting and youth apprenticeship programs, already in use in Mexico, would be rolled out in Honduras.
Still, given rampant organized crime and ineffectual local government, creating thousands of jobs and the stability needed to encourage economic growth will prove difficult. Then again, if people in Central America had better access to economic opportunities, it’s possible that they’d eschew the drug trade and organized crime in the first place.
Many, if not most, of the migrants who make their way into the United States via the southern border come from Central America, rather than Mexico. Still, in order to reach the U.S. border, these migrants have to pass through Mexico. Up until recently, the Mexican government had largely turned a blind eye.