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Canada and Mexico: Key Partners in Human Mobility

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April 18, 2023

By: Roberto Velasco Álvarez and Graeme C. Clark

Mexico and Canada share a common vision for the future of North America as a democratic, open and prosperous region. One of the pillars of the North American vision includes trilateral cooperation to advance immigration. In this regard, Canada and Mexico welcome people to enter our countries in an orderly manner, both to boost our labour markets and to offer them international protection should they need it.

This week we are holding the High Level Dialogue on Mobility, where we will address labor mobility; how to address the increase in unsubstantiated asylum claims, as well as our tools to move together towards orderly, safe, regular and humane migration. Together with the National Employment Service of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, we have received a large Canadian delegation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to implement public policies and cooperation programs in this area.

Around 70% of Canada’s population growth -and practically all of the increase in its labor force- is due to migration. It is a country of migrants which welcomes  thousands of immigrants from all over the world with open arms and prides itself on its diversity. Both Canadians and Mexicans know that people who come to put down roots in our countries bring with them new perspectives and talents that enrich our societies. Thus, the growing labour shortage in Canada makes safe, orderly and regular migration increasingly important.

Under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), Mexico is the largest source of regular migration in the agricultural sector. However, this flagship program is just one part of our extensive collaboration on mobility and migration issues. Thousands of Mexicans travel annually to Canada to work for several months. They then return to their communities in Mexico to enjoy the economic fruits of their efforts with their families. Without a doubt, these schemes are critical to Canada’s productivity and food security. We know that, together, we can meet our regional needs and we are in constant dialogue to address the various challenges in North America.

Mexico and Canada coincide in our vision on migration in international fora. On the one hand, we both subscribe to the Global Compacts for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and for Refugees, as well as the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. In addition, we are working to address this phenomenon in a humanitarian manner and to respond to the economic and security factors that cause mass migration.

In terms of our bilateral relationship, during the 10th North American Leaders Summit, which took place in January, we defined the Mexico-Canada Action Plan, which identified tourism, migration and human mobility as one of its nine pillars. Beyond the millions of Canadian tourists who have come to discover Mexico’s beautiful beaches, fascinating archaeological sites, vibrant cities and magical towns, thousands of Canadians also come each year to study, work or enjoy their retirement as residents.

Both Canada and Mexico are committed to improving the well-being of our people and to continuing to foster the ties that bind us together. We want people who want opportunities for growth to know what the options are to do it the right way. We want immigrants in North America to have a better chance of success, to avoid being defrauded and to avoid making mistakes that could affect their admission processes. We will continue to work together to face the challenges of immigration, not only as a North American region, but also on a continental and global level.

Originally published in Spanish in Excelsior