Mexico registered in 2021 more than 130 thousand refugee applications, 87% more than those received in 2019, according to data published on Monday by the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (Comar). The highest growth was in Haitian migrants, who went from 5,500 to more than 51,000.
The one that has almost doubled the figure of two years ago consolidates Mexico as a country of destination for migration and not only as a country of origin and transitor. Asylum seekers declined in 2020 with the onset of the pandemic, but it was because the overall flow of migrants decreased due to the closure of many borders.
The nationality that has registered the greatest increase is Haitian: those from that country went from 5 thousand 530 applicants in 2019 to 51 thousand 827 in 2021.
This digit outstrips Hondurans by far, traditionally those that requested the most protection in Mexico and that only increased from 30,082 two years ago to 36,361 today
The vast majority of the total applications, almost 90 thousand, were made in Tapachula, the city near the border with Guatemala where thousands of migrants have been stranded for months and which was overwhelmed. That is why the Mexican authorities have opted since November to transfer some migrants to other parts of the country where they can process their petitions.
Faced with a situation that threatens to collapse the Mexican refugee system, UN agencies insist that the Government headed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) offer migrants alternative ways to regularize their situation.
At the moment, only the launch of a pilot plan has been approved this month that will initially benefit 200 Haitians. The program will connect migrants with companies that have job offers and the government will offer them temporary work visas.