Immigration officials detained 16,740 undocumented migrants last month, the National Immigration Institute (INM) said on Monday.
The influx was 78% more than in January 2021.
Minors under 18 made up 2,421 of the detainees — or about 14.5%. Of that number, 780 were unaccompanied.
Of the minors, 1,434 were boys and 987 were girls.
The majority, 10,443, were from Central and South America, principally Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Another 6,297 were from Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania, according to the INM, which doesn’t account for any migrants detained from the Caribbean: undocumented Cubans are well represented in Mexico, and Haitian nationals are one of the main groups that enter the country without papers.
The INM said it detained 966 people in tractor-trailers in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Coahuila. It added that 319 people in a caravan were detained in Chiapas and that 328 were found on buses in Puebla and Oaxaca.
“The INM reaffirms its commitment to safe, orderly and regular migration with full respect and safeguarding of the human rights of those transiting through Mexico,” the INM statement read.
Migrants detained by the INM are normally taken to detention centers manned by armed police. The INM terms the detainment of migrants as “rescue,” which means no judicial process is required for their detention.
Such detentions increased nearly threefold in Chiapas in annual terms last year: in 2020 there were 25,000 detentions, compared to 67,376 in 2021.
More than 4,000 migrants crossed the southern border every day in 2021 on average, a 44.5% increase over 2020, the INM said in December.
Mexico News Daily