Mexico and Honduras Announce Amnesties

By Kausha Luna, October 25, 2016

Mexico and Honduras announced last week they would grant amnesty to illegal aliens in their respective territories.

Mexico Temporary Migration Regularization Program (PTRM) will begin in January and conclude in December of next year. A press release from Mexico's National Institute for Migration (INM) notes PTRM intends to support "all foreigners who, regardless of nationality, do not have regular migratory status and have made Mexico their place of permanent residence for the wellbeing of their family." PTRM will benefit illegal aliens who entered Mexico prior to January 9, 2015. Those who qualify will be able to obtain legal status in the country and a work permit. The program first grants illegal aliens temporary resident status for a four-year period. Thereafter, they are granted permanent residence.

As part of the announcement of PTRM, the Mexican government assured that illegal aliens who go to an INM office for information or to submit their application will not be detained, returned, or deported to their country of origin.

In a less detailed press release, the Honduran government announced that its amnesty will benefit illegal aliens who entered the country prior to April 30, 2015, noting that they may regularize their stay starting in October through January. Honduran officials stated that there are over 25,000 foreigners in the country, of whom 30 percent are presumed to be illegal aliens.

Recently Cubans identified Honduras as their new springboard to the United States (given that entry into Ecuador now requires a visa), noting that they stay in the country while they raise enough funds to continue northward to the U.S. border. One must ask whether or not these amnesties could incentivize more Cubans and other illegal aliens to adopt a similar pattern.