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Ottawa will reimpose visa requirements for Mexican visitors

Photo: Chris Young La Presse canadienne Des voyageurs attendent avec leurs bagages à l’aéroport Pearson, à Mississauga, en Ontario, le 14 mars 2023.

Ottawa finally backtracks. In order to curb the significant increase in the number of asylum seekers from Mexico, the Trudeau government will announce that it will reimpose visas on Mexican nationals, sources close to the matter confirmed to Devoir.

Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller is due to make the announcement on Thursday.

Pressure had been mounting for several weeks for the government to once again impose visa requirements on Mexican visitors – a measure also demanded by the two largest opposition parties in Ottawa.

The Trudeau government ended the visa requirement for these nationals in December 2016. The Prime Minister had then just promised during the election campaign to cancel this measure, introduced in 2009 by the previous government, under Stephen Harper.

The number of asylum seekers from Mexico has exploded in recent years. Data obtained by Le Devoirshow that it increased from 260 in 2016 to 22,405 in 2023 (as of November). Canada welcomed an average of 2,037 Mexican asylum seekers monthly between January and November last year.

In a letter sent at the beginning of the year, Prime Minister François Legault urged his counterpart Justin Trudeau to curb the influx of asylum seekers, otherwise Quebec will reach its “breaking point” .

Minister Marc Miller then agreed that it was time for Canada “to tighten the screws” on these nationals, but that a “diplomatic approach” was necessary before making a decision.

“No matter what decisions we make with Mexico and other countries around the world, my job is to manage diplomatic relations. Of course, we have a good relationship with Mexico and we will continue to have one,” added Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller's office declined comment Wednesday evening.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116