Primarily Haitian migrants force entry into southern Mexican asylum office, seeking documentation
September 18, 2023 at 22:38
Migrants, mostly from Haiti, burst into an asylum office in southern Mexico on Monday, demanding papers.
Throngs of migrants knocked over metal barricades and rushed into the office in the city of Tapachula, pushing past National Guard officers and police stationed at the office.
Some of the migrants were trampled by their colleagues in the rush.
The tension comes as asylum claims in Mexico have skyrocketed, reaching over 100,000 so far this year.
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Most, however, intend to use the papers to travel more safely and easily to the U.S. border.
Argoten said he had been waiting a week in Tapachula to start the asylum application process.
Mexico is on track to receive more asylum applications this year than ever before as the flow of migrants threatens to overwhelm governments of several Latin American countries along the migratory route.
Andrés Ramírez Silva, the director of Mexico’s refugee agency, said last week that the number of asylum applications his agency receives this year could reach 150,000, well above the 129,000 record set in 2021.
Through August they already had 100,000 — 25% above the same period in 2021 — more than half at Mexico’s shared border with Guatemala.
Ramírez Silva said Cubans, Haitians and Hondurans have made up about 80% of the asylum applications at the Tapachula office.
He said his agency had asked the federal government for more resources to expand its capacity.