Experts agree that immigration policies on both sides of the southern US border have contributed to massive migration in Mexico, which has become a nation that receives thousands of asylum applications each year. The Biden Administration insists that “the border is not open.”
This year the applications exceeded 118,000, a figure that reflects an upward trend of people fleeing their countries, mainly from northern Central America.
According to Josep Herreros, assistant protection representative at the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Mexico, “Honduras continues to be the country with the main nationality seeking asylum in Mexico, then there are the usual Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela , Haiti, Cuba”.
However, this year was also marked by the increase in the flow of Venezuelan migrants.
“After the measures announced by the US government, the application of the Title 42expulsions to Mexico of the Venezuelan population, since October we have seen a Venezuelan population increase who requests asylum in Mexico”, added Herreros.
Although the main cause lies in the conditions they live in their countries of origin, the increase is also a product of the immigration policies of the United States, says the UNHCR representative.
“It is the regional impact of the United States policies in these years (…) many people who see difficulties in reaching the United States may see Mexico as an option,” he says.
By the way, the decision this Tuesday of the Supreme Court of the United States, which extends the validity of Title 42, generated more anxiety among immigrants at the southern border and humanitarian aid agencies maintain that the crisis is worsening.
In this sense, after learning of the Court’s ruling, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, reiterated on behalf of the Administration that “the border is not open”.
“People should not listen to the lies of traffickers who take advantage of vulnerable migrants, putting their lives at risk,” he said, while warning about the measures to be taken “we will continue to fully apply our immigration laws.”
Even after the ruling, there is only one option left for those seeking refuge in the United States: parole or humanitarian pardon for extreme cases.
Although there are many applicants, few will be chosen, activists warn. A study led by the University of Texas estimates that in 10 bordering cities there were – last November – almost 45,000 people registered seeking that exception to enter the United States to request asylum.
The study ‘Processing asylum at the US-Mexico border’ He calculates that Tijuana is where the most people registered.
Soraya Vázquez, from the organization Al Otro Lado, warns: “Don’t come, but at the moment that is the situation, the border is still closed, few cases are admitted.”
Entering the US does not guarantee asylum and this is another argument with which the authorities try to dissuade those who seek to arrive, even in the midst of the new difficulties brought by extreme weather.
According to the Mexican Commission for Aid to Refugees, 60% of those who continue their process are admitted as refugees. However, with one voice, the authorities of the receiving countries insist on trying to deter the arrival of thousands of migrants because humanitarian agencies and local governments are running out of resources to deal with the avalanche of migrants.
Visas to Hondurans
Faced with the imminent wave of migrants, Mexico also imparts policies that favor Central Americans.
According to an agreement between the governments of Honduras and Mexico, around 10,000 Hondurans will have the opportunity to get jobs temporary legally in various agricultural fields in the states of Jalisco and Guanajuato.
The agreement establishes that the Mexican agricultural training academy Big Force Academy can recruit Honduran workers.
Rodolfo Pastor, secretary of the Honduran presidency, says that this “will allow the generation of opportunities” that are not necessarily found in his country.
The Mexican ambassador in Honduras says that they hope that this week “the explanations will begin in fundamental areas in Santa Bárbara, Olancho Tegucigalpa and La Esperanza, where the staff will explain what will be the mechanics to follow to start working.”
In the first week of January, the first group of 300 Hondurans will be selected to travel to Mexico to begin agricultural work. The goal is to reduce incentives for the irregular migration of Hondurans.
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