Migrants burst into southern Mexico asylum office demanding papers

Migrants, primarily hailing from Haiti, forcefully entered an asylum office in the southern region of Mexico on Monday, requesting documentation.

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.

No injuries were reported as authorities managed to persuade many individuals to depart later on.

The tension comes as asylum claims in Mexico have skyrocketed, reaching over 100,000 so far this year.

Many migrants, including individuals from Cuba and Honduras, express their frustration as they have had to endure lengthy waits, sometimes lasting weeks, for an appointment at the office located in Tapachula, near the border with Guatemala.

At the workplace managed by the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance, individuals seeking refuge can submit applications for asylum in Mexico. Nevertheless, the majority of them actually plan to utilize these documents as a means to travel to the U.S. border with enhanced safety and convenience.

Miguel Argoten, a Cuban migrant, expressed that the situation is highly intricate due to the overwhelming number of people present. He mentioned that the Haitians become desperate and resort to knocking down barricades, which ultimately hampers the progress of the process.

Argoten mentioned that he had been in Tapachula for a week, patiently awaiting the commencement of the asylum application procedure. Lately, the office has been receiving approximately 2,000 daily requests for appointments.

The number of asylum applications in Mexico is set to surpass previous records this year due to the increasing influx of migrants, which is putting immense pressure on the governments of various Latin American countries along the migration path.

Last week, Andrés Ramírez Silva, the director of Mexico’s refugee agency, stated that the number of asylum applications received by his agency this year might reach 150,000, surpassing the previous record of 129,000 established in 2021.

“I cannot reword”

Last week, a group of migrants became disruptive while waiting and forcefully entered the agency’s premises. As a result, National Guard officers were called in but faced difficulties in maintaining control.

Ramírez Silva mentioned that the majority of asylum requests at the Tapachula office have been from Cubans, Haitians, and Hondurans, accounting for approximately 80%. He also stated that his organization has requested additional resources from the federal government in order to enhance its capacity.

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