After presumably walking or traveling thousands of miles through Mexico from their home countries in Central America, migrants who change their minds or find themselves separated from their families had no realistic option to get back home.
But that changed on Thursday after Mexican airline Volaris announced a new program that would offer migrants a flight back to their home country of Costa Rica, El Salvador or Guatemala for the low price of one dollar.
The airline claims the program, which they’re calling “Reuniting Families,” is aimed at “its commitment to keeping families together,” according to Bloomberg.
“We’re collaborating by offering an alternative solution to the migratory phenomenon,” a statement from the airline read.
Volaris lanza el programa Reuniendo Familias en el que aporta su granito de arena para ayudar a los migrantes que estén buscando volver a su hogar, pagando solo $1 USD más impuestos por segmento. pic.twitter.com/nwtXtQGtvC
— Volaris (@viajaVolaris) June 20, 2019
To take advantage of the cheap flight, migrant passengers have to depart from either Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara or Mexico City and be prepared to take the next available seat. The $1 airfare doesn’t include taxes.
Migrants willing to fly home only have to show appropriate identification and minors are required to show a birth certificate or passport, according to NDTV.
The program is set to run until June 30.
Over the past year, the influx of Central American migrants, thanks in part to large caravans, has had a crippling effect on Mexico’s resources.
And since a majority of migrants are trying to reach the United States, it has also taken a toll on U.S. Border Patrol agents and other border-based organizations who are forced to step away from their daily duties and provide resources to house, feed and process them.
President Donald Trump recently threatened the use of tariffs if Mexico didn’t take drastic action to control the situation. In a last-minute compromise, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agreed to take action.
The cheap flight offer from Volaris will hopefully provide some relief to the out-of-control problem by taking the migrants out of Mexico before they ultimately try crossing into the United States.
The influx in migrants crossing into America is causing a strain in many border communities, in which churches, non-profits and various organizations scramble to find the resources to take care of migrants who have no plan or nowhere to go.
Though they’ll undoubtedly use the program for positive public relations points by playing the “reuniting families” card, the airline’s offer is a wonderful example of a private company with vast resources stepping in to help their country with what’s been called a “crisis” on many occasions.
Imagine if large American companies followed suit by providing similar programs for illegal immigrants who desire or need to get back home, for whatever reason.
Not only would it help begin to alleviate the pressure on American agencies and towns from the recent overrun of migrants, but it would be nothing short of a patriotic power move and proof that when the proverbial poo hits the fan and government can’t get a handle on it, private companies are ready to step up to the plate.
I’m not a business analyst or marketing expert, but I’m willing to bet that if an American airline or other transportation company started a program like this, they would likely score tremendously positive news headlines, which is something that can’t be bought by a marketing department.
Hopefully, the Mexican airline’s program takes off.
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