The number of people seeking asylum in the first seven months of the year is close to becoming a record for the highest yearly total as growing numbers of migrants choose to stay in Mexico, although it is unclear how long they intend to remain.
The Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar) has registered 64,378 applications for asylum so far this year. July alone saw 12,804 asylum requests, 11,023 more than in July 2020.
In 2019, which saw the highest number of asylum applications since 2013, 70,405 applications were received, only 6,027 higher than this year.
The comparable seven-month period in 2019 recorded a relatively modest 40,158 requests.
In 2013, when record keeping began, only 1,296 migrants made asylum applications. The figure spiked in 2019 when far more than double requested asylum compared to the previous year. The total receded in 2020 due to limitations on cross border movement in the Covid-19 pandemic, only to spike again this year.
Since 2019, migrants from Honduras have made the most requests.
Large numbers of asylum seekers have also come from Haiti, Cuba, El Salvador, Venezuela, Guatemala and Nicaragua since 2019. The vast majority of applications for asylum are made at the Tapachula, Chiapas, office at the Guatemalan border.
In the first seven months of the year 19,383 asylum applications were processed. Venezuelan migrants’ applications were approved in 97% of cases, requests from Salvadorans were approved in 87% of cases and applications from Hondurans in 85% of cases. In contrast, asylum requests from Haitians were normally rejected: only 32% were granted.
With reports from El Economista