US, Mexico sign memorandum to protect temporary foreign workers
WASHINGTON – The governments of the U.S. and Mexico signed a memorandum of understanding on Jan. 17, 2023, to strengthen protections for workers participating in temporary foreign worker programs.
The MOU affirms a mutual commitment to increased transparency and coordination between the two countries. The protections in this agreement include enforcing working conditions and preventing discrimination. They also include establishing fair recruitment processes and facilitating the availability of quality temporary agricultural and non-agricultural employment.
In the agreement, both countries commit to improving shared mechanisms to prevent, report and investigate worker rights violations and hold employers and their agents accountable; and to connect workers harmed or exploited with assistance and care. Government agencies in the U.S. and Mexico will hold quarterly meetings to monitor the enforcement of employment laws, rules and regulations that apply to temporary foreign workers.
“Mexico is the country of origin for the majority of temporary foreign workers in the U.S. The memorandum of understanding ensures workers’ rights are an absolute priority for both countries,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh.
“We are committed to protecting the rights of every worker in the U.S., regardless of their immigration status. Today’s pact will help inform migrant workers of their rights and of the availability of mechanisms in both countries to seek assistance if they feel their rights were violated,” the Secretary added.
“This historic agreement is a keystone in our efforts to create legal, orderly, and humane labor pathways for migrants,” said U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, who joined Mexican Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma Barragán to sign the memorandum at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City.
Government agencies participating in the MOU process include the U.S. Departments of Labor and State, and Mexico’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs as well as Labor and Social Welfare.
Read the memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and Mexico in English and Spanish.