Migrants burst into southern Mexico asylum office demanding papers

A group of migrants, primarily from Haiti, forcefully entered an asylum office in southern 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 successfully persuaded many individuals to depart later on.

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

Crowds of frustrated migrants, including many from Cuba and Honduras, say they have had to wait for weeks in some cases for an appointment at the office 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 have the intention of utilizing these documents to facilitate their journey to the U.S. border with increased safety and convenience.

Miguel Argoten, a Cuban migrant, expressed that the situation is highly intricate due to the large number of people present. He mentioned that the Haitians become desperate, leading them to topple the barricades, which ultimately hampers the progress.

Argoten mentioned that he had been in Tapachula for a week, 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 expected 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 set in 2021.

“I cannot reword”

Last week, a group of migrants became disruptive while waiting and forcefully entered the offices of the agency. As a result, National Guard officers were called in, but they struggled to maintain control of the situation.

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.

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