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Migrant Justice: Mexico Human Rights Commission asks immigration authorities to speed up admissions

Source: JURIST -- Legal News & Commentary

Author: Nandini Dwivedi

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) on Saturday called on immigration authorities to speed up visa processing so that nearly 2000 migrants seeking asylum in the US and Mexico could access documents to regularize their stay in Mexico or let them travel through Mexico without being detained.

Many Latin American refugees seeking asylum in the US and Mexico have been stuck in the Mexican city of Tapachula while waiting for receiving countries to process visa applicants. These delays have forced migrants to linger in Mexico without official documentation, making them the target of recent security raids.

Last week, Mexican immigration agents raided migrant shelters in Tapachula, seeking to detain people with “irregular status.” Agents are typically prohibited from raiding the shelters, but the massive influx in asylum seekers have pushed refugees onto the streets and nearby hotels.

The commission’s statement said that many migrants currently survive “in conditions contrary to respect for their dignity” due to shelter overcrowding in Tapachula. They called on immigration authorities such as the National Migration Institute (INM) and the Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to these migrants. The commission also announced that they had asked INM and COMAR to “immediately create working groups in order to speed up the migratory regularization procedures, or the recognition of refugee status.”

Refugees protested Mexico and the US over these stagnated immigration admissions, threatening to form a caravan and proceed to the US border. Facing pressure from the US to slow the flow of migrants into the country, Mexico’s INM told protestors last week that “there is no need for marches or demonstrations” for migrants to complete their paperwork.