MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico said Wednesday that it will invoke the labor section of the free trade agreement signed with the United States last year to press for its workers in the United States to have access to the vaccine against COVID-19. regardless of your immigration status.
The Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, said that it is an established right that workers should not be exposed to infections. He said that excluding any Mexican worker from vaccination programs would be considered a violation of the trade agreement.
The issue of migrant workers’ access to the vaccine attracted Mexico’s attention last week following comments from Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. The governor was asked if undocumented immigrants working in the state’s meatpacking plants would be vaccinated.
Ricketts replied, “You are supposed to be a legal resident of the country to work in those plants, so I don’t expect illegal immigrants to be part of the vaccine with that program.”
Later, his spokesperson clarified in a statement: “No proof of citizenship is required for vaccination.”
However, some immigrant advocacy groups are still concerned that these types of messages discourage people residing in the United States without documents from getting vaccinated.
Ebrard added that he hopes the US unions will support Mexico on the issue.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador visited Washington, DC, in July to sign the new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The Associated Press reporter Grant Schulte in Lincoln, Nebraska, contributed to this report.
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