Caravan migrants heading to the U.S. have refused Mexico’s offer to receive refugee status that would provide schooling, jobs, medical care, and shelter.
Thousands of migrants turned down Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto’s program You Are In Your Home, The Associated Press reported Saturday.
The program gives refugee status to those who apply and provide migrants access to shelter, medical attention, schooling and temporary employment opportunities to Central American migrants in the Chiapas and Oaxaca states, according to The AP.
“Our goal is not to remain in Mexico,” Oscar Sosa, 58, of Honduras told The AP. “Our goal is to make it to the (U.S).”
Those of working age would clean, repair and maintain infrastructure in the two southern Mexican states, according to the program. Migrants can also obtain Mexico’s version of a social security number called CURP (Clave Unica de Registro Publico). This will allow the migrants to have legal proof of identity, enter and leave shelters and open bank accounts.
The program came in response to the “unprecedented flow of people from Central American countries who have entered [into Mexico] the last few days,” according to the program’s press statement.
“The government of the Republic reiterates that the unrestricted commitment to the human rights or migrants does not mean an endorsement to irregular, massive and undocumented entry into Mexican territory, on the contrary it makes a new call to those who wish to enter Mexico, to avoid risks unnecessary and subject to the procedures that Mexican law establish,” a Ministry of the Interior press statement said.
While over 1,700 migrants applied for refugee status, thousands of migrants turned down the offer because they wanted to keep going North, according to The AP.