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Canada will require a visa for Mexican tourists;  AMLO reproaches Trudeau

Canada will require a visa for Mexican tourists; AMLO reproaches Trudeau

Canada will require a tourist visa from Mexicans who visit the country starting this Thursday night in response to the sharp increase in refugee requests from citizens of the Latin American country.

The Canadian Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship explained that those Mexicans who have a visa to enter the United States or those who have had a visa for Canada during the last ten years are excluded from the measure.

The decision will also not affect Mexicans who have work or study permits in the country.

The Canadian Government explained that the new imposition of the entry visa for Mexicans “is an important step to preserve the mobility of hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens while ensuring” the functioning of the country’s migration and asylum systems.

The number of Mexican refugee applicants has gone from 260 in 2016, when the Government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau annulled the entry visa requirement, to 23,995 applications in 2023, a record number.

At the same time, 60% of those applications were rejected by Canadian authorities or were abandoned by the petitioners.

The announcement comes after intense pressure from the main opposition group, the Conservative Party, and the head of the Government of the province of Quebec, François Legault, to require visas for Mexicans.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador warned on Wednesday that, “if there is no respectful treatment”, will not attend the North American Leaders Summit scheduled for April in Quebec.

The Government of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper unexpectedly imposed entry visas on Mexicans in 2009 due to the sharp increase in refugee requests from Mexican citizens.

The decision caused a cooling of relations between the two countries that did not improve until Trudeau eliminated the measure in 2016, a few months after coming to power.

But for months, the opposition leader and Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre, has linked the sharp increase in asylum applications, which in turn are causing problems with housing and social services, to Trudeau’s decision to eliminate visas for immigrants. Mexicans in 2016.

On January 18, Legault also linked the asylum seeker crisis in his territory to the policies of the federal government and asked Trudeau in a letter to tighten visa requirements.

Legaullt pointed out that his province is in an “intolerable” situation after the arrival in 2023 of some 60,000 refugee seekers.

“Small reproach”

López Obrador made a “small reproach” to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for reimposing the visa requirement for tourists from Mexico amid a spike in asylum applications.

If anything (I make) a small, fraternal, respectful reproach to the Prime Minister because we helped them, and he knows it, so that it was accepted that Canada would participate in the free trade agreement (with the United States) because President (Donald) Trump (2017-2021) did not want“, declared the president.

López Obrador reacted in his morning conference, in Cancún, to Canada’s decision to reimplement the tourist visa, which had been eliminated in 2016, starting this Thursday at 10:30 p.m. local time (04:30 GMT on Friday). , after an increase in asylum applications from Mexicans who arrived in that country as tourists.

More than 25,000 Mexicans requested asylum in Canada in 2023, according to figures from the Canadian Immigration Office.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) of Mexico warned in a statement this Thursday that “it reserves, of course, the power to act in reciprocity,” although it noted that the rules will allow travel by Mexicans who have a valid visa from the United States. .

It is a modality, they tell me, in which it can only affect 40% of those who go in Canada. It’s good that they moderated themselves. In any case, we consider that other options, other alternatives, could have been sought.”López Obrador commented on the matter.

The Mexican president had warned on Wednesday that, “if there is no respectful treatment“, would not attend the North American Leaders Summit, scheduled for April in Quebec, the Canadian province that demanded that Trudeau reinstate the visa for Mexico.

But now he commented that the reason why he doubts the viability of the summit is because it coincides with this year’s presidential campaigns in Mexico and the United States.

“It is going to be very difficult since there is a summit, but not because of us, but because of the campaigns, that is another issue that was not taken care of, I say it with all due respect,” he justified.

López Obrador expressed his “respect” for the decision, although he insisted that he will look for “alternatives” to the visa.

“We cannot break relations with Canada or with other governments because the economic exchange is very good, Mexican workers have been going to Canada for a long time, so we have to act with prudence, with serenity,” he acknowledged.

Source: Gestion

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