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Migration: Mexico should set an example
The Federal Police sprayed the migrants with tear gas - Photo: Ueslei Marcelino/REUTERS

Migration: Mexico should set an example

21/10/2018
09:02
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader
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Over 640 formal asylum requests have been accepted, and women and children have been prioritized

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During the migrant caravan's second day at the southern Mexican border, two images show contrasting situations: thousands are waiting to be attended by migration authorities in an orderly way, while others decide to cross the river and arrive quicker to Mexico and without controls. In both cases, authorities must act with respect towards human rights and without assuming that their presence will cause damages to the national interest.

Last night, the Mexican government informed that at least 900 migrants who are part of the caravan, and who try to enter Mexico through informal crossings, where subjected to administrative processes and will be deported. Only 500 have agreed to return to their homelands voluntarily. Meanwhile, over 640 formal asylum requests have been accepted, women and children have been prioritized. That is, in fits and starts and without previous experience in massive migration movements, the country is finally responding to the emergency.

Every country has laws to enter their territories in an orderly way and this time shouldn't have to be an exception. The vast majority of those who are running away from violence and poverty in their countries are aware of the situation and are waiting for their turn to request their entry into Mexican territory, contrary to the group who tried to enter the country by force and by throwing stones last Friday, with no respect the previous agreements that would allow them to enter in groups of 50 or 100.

The paperwork can't be done as soon as the migrants need it, they have to comply with registration requirements, as in every other country. Each nation has the right to learn the identity and origin of those who are trying to cross or stay in their territory...for two reasons: helping them or identifying those who might have an arrest warrant issued towards them in their country.

The legal and orderly path is the best way to enter the country and respect the human rights Mexico can offer the Central American migrants. Once their petition is accepted, they would have to be taken to a shelter, where they can stay until their asylum request is solved. Migration is a right and it wouldn't have to end in violence from either part.

Mexico must take advantage of this situation to set an example of a decent and orderly treatment of migrants.

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