Canada will ease visa regulations for Mexican travellers beginning from 1 December on the condition that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will give an assurance that Mexican citizens will not flood their country seeking refugee status.
According to government officials, federal government is ready to reimplement restrictions if the number of people seeking asylum crosses an established level.
This move comes even as officials in Citizenship and Immigration were opposed to it. They warned that poor conditions of living in Mexico along with its dismal human-rights record and rising crime rates will make Mexicans seek refuge in Canada.
These officials are also apprehensive that people seeking asylum from other Latin American nations seeking entry into Canada could exploit Mexico’s flimsy passport system without needing to go through rigorous visa screening in Canada.
They suggested to the cabinet that easing visa restrictions would lead to 3,500 claims of asylum in 2017, which would touch 6,000 in 2018 and 9,000 in the following year.
Meanwhile, Mexico will warn its citizens travelling to Canada that getting a refugee status in that country would be tough and they need to abide by laws of that country when they go there.
The Globe and Mail quoting a senior government official said that they were ensuring that the responsibility was on them to see to it that their travel was legitimate.