Mexico’s Tapachura (AP) — The majority of the migrants who broke into the asylum office in southern Mexico on Monday were from Haiti.
Massive groups of migrants stormed through police and National Guard personnel stationed at the office in the city of Tapachula, knocking down metal barricades in the process. In the rush, some of the refugees were crushed by their fellow travelers.
Later, after being persuaded to leave by authorities, nobody was hurt.
Asylum requests in Mexico have increased dramatically this year, totaling over 100,000, which is causing the tension.
Numerous disgruntled migrants, many of whom are from Cuba and Honduras, claim that they have frequently had to wait weeks for an appointment at the Tapachula office, which is close to the Guatemalan border.
Immigrants can submit applications for asylum in Mexico through the office, which is operated by the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid. The majority, though, want to utilize the documents to get to the U.S. border more safely and conveniently.
“It’s very complicated, there are too many people here, the Haitians get desperate, they knock over the barricades, and that only makes the process slower,” said Cuban immigrant Miguel Argoten.
Argoten said that he had been waiting to begin the asylum application procedure in Tapachula for a week. Recently, the office has been receiving roughly 2,000 requests for appointments every day.
As the migrant surge threatens to overwhelm administrations of many Latin American nations along the migration route, Mexico is on course to receive more asylum petitions this year than ever before.
The director of Mexico’s refugee agency, Andrés Ramrez Silva, said this week that his organization may receive 150,000 asylum applications this year, well exceeding the previous high of 129,000 established in 2021.
According to Ramrez Silva, “effectively, we are moving at a pace that is significantly faster than what we did in 2021, when we set a record.” He anticipated that if they keep on this pace, they would reach 150,000 by the end of the year. They have had 100,000 as of August, which is 25% higher than at the same time in 2021, with more than half near Mexico’s shared border with Guatemala.
Last week, several migrants were rowdy during the wait and tried to enter the agency’s offices, which required the deployment of National Guard officers, who struggled to maintain order.
According to Ramrez Silva, around 80% of the petitions for refuge at the Tapachula office have been submitted by Cubans, Haitians, and Hondurans. He said that to increase its capability, his organization had requested extra funding from the federal government.