Officials say high numbers of asylum applications are pushing Mexico to breaking point
The number of asylum applications in Mexico remains at an all-time high, and authorities say the country’s asylum system cannot handle the number of petitions it receives.
Some 118,500 people petitioned for asylum in Mexico last year — making it the country with the third highest number of asylum applications globally after the United States and Germany. Those applications came from asylum seekers from 118 countries and, for the first time, every continent.
But Andres Ramirez, head of Mexico’s refugee commission, says the agency is reaching a breaking point.
At a news conference this week, he said officials are cracking down on so-called “abuses” of the system — including people who apply for asylum in Mexico despite planning to travel to the United States.
Human rights groups, however, say it's the asylum seekers who face abuse in Mexico, both by authorities and criminal groups. Mexico's backlogged and under-resourced has also led to prolonged delays, leaving many waiting in inhumane conditions in southern Mexico.
The number of asylum petitions in Mexico started to rise dramatically in 2019, and Mexico reached an all-time high in asylum applications in 2021, with some 130,000 people asking for refuge in the country. People from Honduras, Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela top the list of those seeking asylum in Mexico.
Al concluir el 2022, la @comar_sg registró 118,478 solicitantes de la condición de refugiado en México. La segunda mayor cantidad de solicitantes registrada en México solo por debajo de la cifra récord del 2021. Segundo año consecutivo con más de cien mil solicitantes. @comar_sg— Andrés Ramírez (@AndresRSilva_) January 1, 2023