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.

Many individuals were later persuaded by authorities to depart, and there were no reported cases of injuries.

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

Many migrants, including a significant number from Cuba and Honduras, express their frustration as they have been forced to endure lengthy waits, sometimes spanning weeks, to secure an appointment at the office located in Tapachula, which is situated close to the Guatemala border.

At the workplace managed by the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance, migrants have the opportunity to submit requests for asylum in Mexico. Nevertheless, the majority of them have the intention of utilizing these documents to facilitate their journey towards 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 process further.

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, posing a significant challenge for governments in 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 may potentially 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 agency’s offices. As a result, National Guard officers were called in, but they struggled to maintain control.

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

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