Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The thousands of migrants making their way from Central America to the United States can stay and find "good work" in the Mexican state of Coahuila, one state official said.
The caravan of migrants is headed for the United States, where administration officials say they will not be allowed entry.
Roman Alberto Cepeda, secretary of labor in Coahuila, encouraged the migrants to take jobs in the Mexican state.
"There is work, and good work. We want to incorporate people to the local Coahuila labor market because there is space, and not little, but a lot," he said in a report by Vanguardia.
Mexican authorities, however, would first need to make criminal background checks and grant the refugees migrant status.
Coahuila is the third-largest state in Mexico, with a very diversified economy where manufacturing and commerce account for half of the state's gross domestic product. Agriculture is also very important in Coahuila, which is the country's leading producer of sorghum and cantaloupes. It's located in northern Mexico and shares a border with Texas.
Cepeda said migrants in the caravan can help alleviate a shortage of labor in Coahuila, where companies recently offered 6,000 positions but hired just 10 percent of what they wanted.
The migrants could also help assure that farm labor hired meets minimum age requirements, Cepeda added. He said that's an issue in Coahuila, as many Mexican minors present fake documents that show they meet minimum age requirements.
The first caravan with thousands of Central American migrants has already crossed much of Mexico. A second group of about 1,500 trails behind. Many are from Honduras.
Mexican cities and church organizations have offered centers where migrants can sleep or eat, but officials say the large number of refugees is creating difficulties.
Hondurans in the caravan recently voted to reject an offer by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto for work and asylum, because Pena Nieto will soon be replaced by President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, El Universal reported.
The migrants continued north with intentions of having some dialogue with the incoming Mexican government. At least some of the migrants say they're open to the idea of staying in the country if jobs are viable, the newspaper added.
U.S. President Donald Trump has consistently said the caravan represents an "invasion" and a threat.
About 4,000 U.S. troops were dispatched to the border last weekend, and Trump said eventually 15,000 could be deployed.