The governments of the US and Mexico on Jan. 17 signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening protections for workers participating in temporary foreign worker programs. Agencies participating in the MOU process include the US Departments of Labor and State and Mexico’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs as well as Labor and Social Welfare.

US-based organizations utilizing temporary workers from Mexico should ensure they are adhering to all regulations, as the MOU affirms a mutual commitment to increased transparency and coordination between the two countries. The protections in this agreement include enforcing working conditions, preventing discrimination and establishing fair recruitment processes.

Both countries committed to protect workers’ and applicants’ rights, including the wages and working conditions of host-country and foreign workers — including Mexican temporary workers in the US — and the enforcement of labor laws governing the recruitment of workers in Mexico.

Mexico is the country of origin for the majority of temporary foreign workers in the US, according to US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh.

“We are committed to protecting the rights of every worker in the US, regardless of their immigration status,” Walsh said. “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.”

Government agencies in the US and Mexico will hold quarterly meetings to monitor the enforcement of employment laws, rules and regulations that apply to temporary foreign workers.