Bloomberg — The U.S. isn’t the only country seeing record-shattering migration data as Mexico received far more asylum claims than ever before, a sign that U.S. border detentions may not fully capture the extent of a region-wide flow of people heading north.
Over the past 10 months, 108,195 foreigners have sought refuge in Mexico, Andres Ramirez, the director of the country’s refugee office, said on Twitter. That’s a 73% jump from the same period in 2019, the previous record high. It’s also 81% more than all asylum requests during the previous administration from 2013 to 2018.
The report follows a record 1.7 million encounters of U.S. officials with migrants crossing the border with Mexico in fiscal year 2021. It comes amid a growing exodus of people heading to the U.S. made up of many not from Mexico and Central America as Latin America and the Caribbean have weathered a withering coronavirus pandemic, natural disasters and political unrest.
The number of Haitian and Honduran asylum seekers in Mexico far outpaced the applicants from other countries and were followed by Cubans, Salvadorans, and Venezuelans, Mexico’s asylum data shows.
The increase in asylum claims in Mexico “is partly due to the refusal by the U.S. government to open its asylum system,” said Rodolfo Cruz Pineiro, director of the population studies department at Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana. “Mexico’s government is forced to open its refugee system more. However, the budget allocated for these migrants is scarce.”
Ramirez of the country’s refugee office said that many of the recent Brazilian and Chilean applicants for asylum in southern Mexico were children of Haitians who had been in those countries prior to coming to Mexico.