MEXICO CITY (AP) — In a bid to halt migrant trafficking, Mexico said Friday it will suspend a 17-year-old program that allowed Brazilian citizens to enter without a visa.
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said the move came after an uptick in Brazilian migrants traveling to Mexico with the intention of reaching the United States.
“This decision was taken due to the increase in irregular (migration) flows and the unfortunate fact that criminal groups make money off Brazilian citizens' interest in migrating irregularly to the United States, by deceiving them,” the department said in a statement.
The measure will apply starting Dec. 11, but will not affect Brazilians who already hold valid travel visas for the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada.
Migrants, mainly from Central America, Haiti and Cuba, often cross Mexico to reach the U.S. border. Mexico has largely been aiding the U.S. government in reducing the flow.