19 | MAR | 2019
Haitians in Tijuana – Photo: Christian Serna/CUARTOSCURO

Mexico closes its doors?

Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
-A +A
Mexico offered asylum to many during the 20th century but nowadays it seems the situation is vastly different

Leer en español

Offering asylum to foreign citizens was one of the most important characteristics of Mexican foreign policy during the past century. The civil war Spain went through in the late 30's caused the exodus of thousands of people, many of which found in Mexico the ideal place to live.

There were also those who fled from the persecution of the Nazi regime during the Second World War, and some of them too found their second home here. And similarly to them, thousands of South Americans settled down in our country after escaping from the atrocities of the dictatorships that plagued the region during the second half of the 20th century.

Mexico became a land of opportunities for those who left their countries behind with, virtually, only the clothes on their backs as they sought to escape from armed conflicts or from the persecution caused by their ideology.

Mexico was renowned for its asylum policy but nowadays the situation is vastly different.

According to an investigation performed by EL UNIVERSAL, published today, several asylum applications have been left in limbo, after the time extension issued by the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance following the September 19 earthquake. This changed the official response from 45 to 90 days to a currently unspecified one.

Between 2013 and 2017, Mexico received 30,249 asylum applications – 90% of which were filed by citizens from Honduras, El Salvador, and Venezuela. The number registered last year rose by 1,841% when comparing it to that of 2011.

The Mexican Government hasn't been able to keep up with the number of applications received. Between 2013 and 2017, less than a fourth of asylum seekers were granted asylum, many were rejected, thousands gave up, and 25% are currently awaiting a decision. Civil organizations supporting refugees regret that Mexico is, in theory only, a country with its doors wide open.

Each country is free to establish its own policies but in regard to migration, the human drama is usually disregarded and each country decides to adopt a political pragmatism. The solution to migration waves should be regional policies of social development to establish populations at their country of origin.

For Mexico, this issue should be a priority, since millions of fellow Mexican citizens are currently facing a similar situation in the United States; their applications don't seem to matter much. Ideally, there should be some sort of coherence.


Mantente al día con el boletín de El Universal