Jun 20, 2020 - World

Mexico to halt sending migrant farmworkers to Canada due to coronavirus

A man tending to a farm in Canada
Photo: Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Mexican officials announced they will be hitting the "pause button" on plans to send as many as 5,000 migrant farmworkers to Canada after two Mexicans died from the coronavirus, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The coronavirus is quickly spreading among migrant farmworkers in Canada, leaving at least 600 infected, per the Post. If other countries limit the migrant farmworkers they are willing to send to Canada, it could derail plans for harvesting both this year and next, per the Post.

  • Canada's farming sector relies on 60,000 temporary foreign workers annually.
  • The migrant workers are so important to Canada that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deemed them essential so they are exempt from restrictions against foreign travelers.
  • Canada has over 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and about 8,400 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Mexico said it will considering sending its citizens back to Canada after the conditions that caused the spread of COVID-19 and the deaths of its citizens have been rectified, per the Post.

  • Nearly half of all migrant farmworkers in Canada come from Mexico.

Zoom out: The rate at which the coronavirus is spreading among migrant workers around the world has been a point of concern for governments given the cramped living and working conditions they often deal with.

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