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Mexico: Mexico City Bill to Grant Guest Status to Migrants

(Apr. 9, 2009) It was reported on March 30, 2009, that Mexico City's Secretary of Rural Development and Equity for Communities, Rosa Márquez, has prepared a bill for passage of a Law on Hospitality and Attention to Migrants in the Federal District, which would grant foreigners or persons from other states of Mexico access to the social programs and services of the capital city's government, regardless of whether they have the proper documentation. Márquez stated that the bill recognizes the human rights of the migrants without considering the reasons why they are temporarily in Mexico City. She added that the purpose of the bill is to give support to persons who have been deported from elsewhere back to Mexico or who do not reach their objective of crossing the border. (Johana Robles, Buscan que Migrantes Reciban Servicios, EL UNIVERSAL, Mar. 30, 2009, available at http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/587592.html.) Guadalupe Chipole, head of migrant programs for Mexico City, was quoted as stating, “[m]igrants passing through Mexico to cross into the United States would be eligible for emergency services such as hospital care and shelters.” (Nacha Cattan, D.F.Migrant Bill Aims to Respect Newcomers, THE NEWS (Mexico City), Apr. 1, 2009, available at http://www.individual.com/story.php?story=98753800.) The bill, if approved, would also benefit asylum applicants and refugees.

The goal of granting migrants the status of “guests” is to eliminate the requirements that foreigners cannot meet, such as possession of a personal identification document, as well the discriminatory practices of public servants responsible for implementing such programs, who in the past have often hindered the immigrants from benefiting from social assistance programs. According to Márquez, the bill has already been reviewed by the head of the capital city's government, Marcelo Ebrard, and is ready to be sent to the city's legislative assembly. (Proponen Reconocer como Huéspedes a Migrantes en el DF, SDP NOTICIAS, Mar. 31, 2009, available at http://sdpnoticias.com/sdp/contenido/2009/03/31/365941.)