Migrants from Afghanistan, among those who most request refuge in Mexico

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A refugee woman of Afghan origin participates in a press conference at the Mexico City International Airport

With 430 refugee requests registered last January, migrants from Afghanistan, for the first time in the history of refugee status in Mexico, were among the 10 countries that submitted the most asylum applications in a month, the Mexican Refugees Aid Commission reported this Friday (COMAR).

In fact, the 430 Afghans who requested refuge in Mexico in the first month of 2023 were close to the total number of migrants from that country who requested asylum in all of 2022, which was 498.

In a message on social networks, the head of COMAR, Andrés Ramírez Silva, explained that in January 2023, “for the first time in the history of the refuge in Mexico, nationals of Afghanistan (are) among the top 10, 430requested the condition of refugees, seventh place on the list”.

The official specified that this figure is 15.3% higher than all Asian applicants from 2013 to 2021.

He also noted that the number of Afghans registered in January 2023 alone represents 86.3% of the 2022 figure “so it is expected that a new record will be established already in February.”

The top 10 list is Haiti (4,305), Honduras (2,837); Venezuela (1,337), Cuba (872), El Salvador (562), Guatemala (468), Afghanistan (430), Brazil (408), Chile (365) and Nicaragua (277).

At the beginning of January, COMAR reported that during the 12 months of last year, Mexico received 118,478 petitions from migrants requesting recognition of refugee status, with migrants from Honduras leading the way with 31,086 petitions.

The institution, dependent on the Ministry of the Interior of the Mexican Government, indicated that this figure is the second highest after the 131,448 cases registered in 2021.

Refugee requests in Mexico occur during a record migratory flow to the United States, whose Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) detained an unprecedented number of more than 2.76 million undocumented immigrants in fiscal year 2022.

Migration has been on the rise in Mexico since October 2018, when caravans with thousands of migrants, mostly Central Americans, began to enter with the aim of crossing the country to reach the United States.

This arrival of migrants has been maintained in recent years despite the pandemic and the restrictions imposed by the United States on countries of this region.

Source: The San Diego Union Tribune