Migration Crisis in Mexico ExacerbatedBy Paloma Duran | Tue, 09/14/2021 - 17:19
In recent months, Mexico's migration crisis at its northern and southern borders has worsened, prompting Mexican and US authorities to develop plans to improve the situation of migrants and address the main causes for migration. However, the recent announcement of the “Remain in Mexico” policy has stalled its progress.
Last week, elements of the National Guard were deployed to Mexico´s southern border to stop the multiple caravans of migrants seeking to reach the US. Most of the migrants in the caravans were Haitians, who argued waiting for months for their asylum applications to be processed.
According to Mexican authorities, the National Migration Institute (INM) has been saturated for a long time and this only got worse with the pandemic that further slowed the process. In 2021, more than 77,000 people applied for protected status in Mexico, of which 19,000 were Haitians.
After a video release of a National Guard element attacking a migrant went viral, activists and organizations called on Mexican authorities to stop their attacks on migrants. The INM said that federal agents acted inappropriately and that these were not the values that the agency promotes. Meanwhile, President López Obrador said that “the caravan will continue to be contained, but without attacking the migrants. We have to look for structural solutions. The US has to help and stop people from leaving Central America."
US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have had multiple meetings with Mexican authorities to address the main causes of migration and provide a better protection to migrants. However, migrants’ concerns have only increased, especially after the US Supreme Court ordered the reimplementation of the Remain in Mexico policy, which forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are reviewed.
Additionally, asylum seekers have complained that the US and Mexican governments are taking them to remote locations in Guatemala to make it difficult for them to return to the US again. Mexican and US authorities have been widely criticized and as a result, López Obrador has put more pressure on the US government to consider his projects such as "Sowing Life" that seeks to generate jobs and improve the quality of life in Central America and southern Mexico. However, according to experts, this is a long-term plan, is not designed to address many of the current problems.