Cancun, Q.R. — Illegal foreigners living throughout the country will be given amnesty beginning January 2017.
Quintana Roo Immigration lawyer, Jorge Zavaleta, explained that the migrant regularization program will allow those living in irregular situations to enter the process of regularization. One of the most concentrated areas is the state of Quintana Roo, where thousands of illegal foreigners are known to live.
The temporary amnesty is aimed particularly at those who have arrived from South and Central American countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and Venezuela, but will be granted to anyone who is residing in the country without proper immigration status.
Numerous state municipalities such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are known to be a preferred location for people seeking work and has become a popular choice for illegal foreigners to set up roots. The government of Mexico is hoping the temporary migration program will see around 10,000 foreigners regularized with four-year temporary resident status, allowing them to legally live and work in the country.
INM general director, Maria Fernanda Garcia Villalobos, says that while there are no exact figures as to how many people are living in the country without the proper status, INM figures the number is between 10,000 and 15,000.
Zavaleta says that children born in Mexico to illegal parents will benefit from having regularized immigration status as they can then access benefits such as education and health.
The amnesty program will begin January 9, 2017 and run until December 19, 2017 and apply to foreigners who entered the country before January 9, 2015. Foreigners caught living and/or working in the country with an unresolved immigration process are subject to detention or deportation by the National Institute of Migration.
A similar amnesty program was put into place from January to December of 2015 that also allowed irregular foreigners living in the country past their six-month tourist visa to become regularized. For more information, visit INM website.