Mexico’s Asylum Requests in Five Months Surpass All of 2020



Mexico’s Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar) released data on the number of asylum applications made so far in 2021. The data show that between January and May, 41,195 applications for asylum were filed in Mexico. This figure is more than the total of asylum requests made in the entirety of 2020, which concluded with 41,179. Moreover, compared to the data in 2019, which totaled 70,418 petitions for asylum, 2021 has already surpassed more than half of the asylum requests made that year. 

The Comar data also show the top ten nationalities that apply for asylum are Honduras, Haiti, Cuba, El Salvador, Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil, and Colombia.

Based on the current trajectory of asylum petitions filed in Mexico, it’s on track to exceed not only its 2019 figures but also those of the past eight years. In fact, Comar Chief Coordinator Andres Ramirez Silva, he predicts Mexico will receive more than 90,000 applications for asylum by the end of this year.

The Biden administration’s immigration policies have certainly attracted scores of migrants to enter the United States unlawfully. It’s also likely the administration’s actions have spurred a similar effect in Mexico. That is why Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, referred to President Joe Biden as the “migrant president.”

The Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ACA) with the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador required foreign nationals to apply for asylum in the first “safe third country” they entered. The ACA deterred migrants from “asylum shopping” their way to Mexico and eventually the United States. These agreements helped taper off asylum fraud in the U.S. and Mexico, as most migrants had to apply and wait in El Salvador or Honduras. Unfortunately, the Biden administration scrapped these agreements in February.

While Mexico has strengthened its border security and bolstered interior immigration enforcement to stop some U.S.-bound illegal immigration, it has done little to counter the rising number of asylum applicants who are likely intending to reach the United States. Without a mechanism to deter asylum abuse, foreign nationals can apply for asylum in Mexico to enter and eventually travel to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Biden administration must work with Mexico and the neighboring nations of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to reinstate their respective asylum agreements. The summer months will likely invite larger numbers of aliens rushing to claim asylum in the U.S. and Mexico. This will almost certainly result in a worsened border crisis, and the people of the United States and Mexico will have to continue paying the price for uncontrolled migration.

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