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Since 2017, the U.S. government has been granting tourist visas to elderly Mexicans to visit their undocumented children currently residing in the United States, according to the Washington Post.
The program, dubbed “Palomas Mensajeras Michoacan,” isn’t officially endorsed by the U.S. government, according to a statement given to WaPo. However, it has officials in Michoacan, Mexico, working with the U.S. State Department to reunite families with three-week-long visits to their families across the United States, WaPo reported.
Some of the organizers of this program, such as Jose Luis Gutierrez, the secretary of migration in Michoacan, told WaPo that they have even met with the State Department before the program began in 2017 to talk about why the initiative is important.
This is a contrast to the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration, with some of the people in the groups worrying it is a trick to catch their undocumented family members in the U.S.
Romero Leon, who was granted a visa and used the program earlier in May to visit her three undocumented children and three grandchildren, two of whom are U.S. citizens, had this concern, WaPo reported. Twenty-one other elderly residents joined her on a flight to Chicago to visit their respective family members.
“That’s what I’m worried about,” she said, according to WaPo. “Are they going to use this to arrest them?”