September broke the record for the highest number of migrants detained in a single month. At 41,225 it’s the most for any month since record-keeping began in 2001.
The first nine months of the year were nearly record breaking too: more than 190,476 migrants were detained from January through September, which places the first three quarters of 2021 second only to the same period in 2015. In January-September of that year, 198,141 migrants were apprehended.
However, the number of Mexicans sent back home from the United States was in the same ballpark: 168,498 were repatriated in the first nine months 0f 2021, and 224 from Canada.
In Mexico, far fewer of the detained migrants have been repatriated. The country with the largest number of returnees was Honduras, with 39,294. Guatemala was next with 28,838.
In terms of age, the vast majority of detained migrants in Mexico were adults. However, 39,076 were 12-17 years old and 13,614 were under 12.
Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, was the most prominent state for detentions: 22,981 migrants were taken into custody there from January to September. Tabasco, another state which borders Guatemala, registered 8,032 detentions; Veracruz recorded 7,002; Tamaulipas 6,256; and Mexico City 4,579.
The National Immigration Institute and the refugee agency COMAR have struggled to keep up with the number of migrants trying to secure their papers. In the first nine months of 2021, 35,412 temporary resident cards were issued, and 28,240 humanitarian visitor cards.
Being a migrant in Mexico can be a risky affair. Data from the Interior Ministry shows 552 crimes against migrants were recorded. They were largely perpetrated in Hidalgo, which saw 282 such reports. The most commonly reported crimes were migrant smuggling, robbery, human trafficking, extortion, abuse of power and kidnapping.
With reports from Animal Político