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Amazon, HSBC Join Pledge to Hire Migrants in Mexico

(Bloomberg) -- A group of 50 companies including Amazon.com Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc pledged to train and hire migrants in Mexico with the help of the United Nations’ migration agency, a move intended to give employment to some of the thousands of foreigners who have in recent years settled in the Latin American nation.

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The Tent Partnership for Refugees, which was founded by yogurt magnate Hamdi Ulukaya, brought companies from a wide range of sectors, from Marriott International, Inc. to Hyatt Hotels Corp., DHL Group, Dow Chemical, Pfizer Inc., among others, to the program. Mexican companies including the parent company of Coca-Cola bottler FEMSA SAB, supermarket chain Grupo Comercial Chedraui SA and franchise operator Alsea SAB will also be part of the effort. Venezuelans, Cubans, Haitians and others are among the population of migrants that they would seek to contract, the organization said in a statement on Wednesday.

The plan is for the companies to hire at least 10,000 migrants in the next few years, said Gideon Maltz, Chief Executive Officer of Tent in an interview with Bloomberg. The organization wants the Mexican government to make it easier for them to obtain work permits. “We work with some of Mexico’s largest employers and what every one of them says is they can’t find enough people to fill jobs,” Maltz said.

The hiring process is intended to provide economic stability to the migrants in Mexico, many of whom enter the country at first with the idea of reaching the US. The Mexican government has offered to hire some to help complete public works, but many face barriers to formal employment in the private sector. Eventually, the UN’s International Organization for Migration, known as the IOM, would seek to expand the program to allow migrants to apply to be hired directly from their countries of origin.

“We see this as the ideal public-private partnership, so rather than governments just providing traditional foreign development assistance, you seek government support for training programs that enable someone to get a job, or programs that enable someone to interview more effectively, or create a CV, or figure out how to access the workforce,” said IOM’s Director General Amy Pope in an interview with Bloomberg.

Foreign Affairs Minister Alicia Barcena met with Pope and discussed ways of integrating migrants into the labor market, according to a readout from the Mexican office on Wednesday. A UN-supported facility that is being planned in Chiapas State could be a place at which migrants can be screened to see whether they could be hired for some of the jobs offered by companies in the network, said Pope, without providing details.

In 2023, the Mexican government reported the presence of 700,000 foreigners in the country without authorization. The US has pressured Mexico to diminish the number of migrants traveling to the US southern border, a topic that has turned into a flashpoint in this year’s presidential election.

Read more: Mexico’s Deportations to be Matched by Aid Package, Barcena Says

(Updates lede to add that the partnership includes training. An earlier version of this story corrected the headline and lede after AT&T, a company previously named in the article, confirmed it will participate in the partnership with Tent only through training, not through hiring migrants)

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