Mexico asylum applications surge in 2021

i24NEWS - Reuters

2 min read
Migrants arrive in Villa Comaltitlan, Chiapas state, Mexico, on October 27, 2021.
AP Photo/Marco UgarteMigrants arrive in Villa Comaltitlan, Chiapas state, Mexico, on October 27, 2021.

Compared to 2019, the 131,448 asylum-seekers marked an increase of over 86 percent

The number of asylum applications in Mexico nearly doubled in 2021 from two years earlier, the head of the country’s commission for refugee assistance said Monday.

Most of the applicants were Haitian and Honduran migrants, the commission added.

Compared to 2019, the 131,448 asylum-seekers marked an increase of over 86 percent, according to the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR).

"By far the main nationalities (who requested refuge) were Haitians and Hondurans," head of COMAR Andres Ramirez said.

He added that Cubans were a distant third.

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The surge of Haitians making their way through Mexico was spurred by economic frailty, a devastating earthquake in August, and political turmoil following the assassination of Haiti’s president Jovenel Moise in July.

Out of those who filed for asylum in 2021, some 72 percent received a positive response, Ramirez said, while another two percent were granted complementary protection.

Central American migrants feeling their home countries continue to cross Mexico northbound towards the United States. 

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In mid-December, a US court reinstated the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, which requires migrants seeking asylum to stay in Mexico until their cases are determined.

Activists say the policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, is creating an influx of migrants in border towns and forcing more and more migrants to apply for asylum in Mexico.