Mexico breaks records as destination and origin of migration in 2022

Migrantes venezolanos acampan bajo un puente fronterizo en Ciudad Juárez (México) en la frontera con El Paso (Estados Unidos), el 21 de octubre de 2022. Cientos de Migrantes venezolanos han sido deportados luego de entregarse a la Patrulla Fronteriza en la frontera entre Ciudad Juarez y El Paso (Texas)

The IOM is committed to a migration strategy that addresses the causes in the sending countries, facilitates safe forms of transit and strengthens the Government’s “good migration governance”.

Mexico is a country in transit: origin and destination of migratory processes that have reached record numbers during 2022, according to data managed by the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM). As of 2020, the North American nation has become the second in the world to see its population march beyond its borders, after India. All this even though the total number of Mexican migrants has decreased from 12.42 million in 2010 to 11.19 in 2020 —with 97% in the United States. It is also a point of arrival: in the last twenty years, the immigrant population in Mexican territory increased by 123%.

The IOM has held a public event in which it has analyzed the migratory panorama in Mexico, the trends in human movements that cross the country and the strategies to address it. The organization has taken the opportunity to present its line of work to follow during 2023, structured around three points: “resilience”, “addressing the adverse drivers of migration”, factors such as poverty, violence or inequality; “mobility”, “facilitate forms of safe, orderly, dignified and regular migration”; and “actions to strengthen good migration governance in Mexico and support the country’s government in fulfilling its commitments established in the national, regional and global frameworks.” Mexico has signed several international treaties to face the challenge of migration processes.

2022 was the year with the highest number of arrests of migrants transiting through Mexico in an “irregular” situation: 444,439 arrests, 44% more than the previous year. The migratory profile is changing. The countries of the northern triangle of Central America (Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala) are no longer the only ones to expel their population. Now we must add “unprecedented levels of migrants arriving by land in Mexico crossing through Central America from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, or even from countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe (including Russia and Ukraine),” reads an IOM statement.

In fact, Venezuelans have been the nationality most intercepted by the Mexican immigration authorities in 2022, with 97,078 arrests; 2,127% more than the previous year. They are followed on the list by Hondurans, Guatemalans, Cubans and Nicaraguans. “The deterioration of the socioeconomic and political conditions in Nicaragua and Cuba has also led to an increase in the number of people who have left these countries, with almost 36,000 events from Nicaraguan people and more than 38,000 events from Cuban people in an irregular migratory situation registered. by the Mexican immigration authority during the first 11 months of 2022″, expands one of the reports presented by the IOM.

The variation in the countries of origin is not the only mutation that the migratory processes that cross Mexico are undergoing. The IOM has highlighted that the image of a single young man trying to find a life on the other side of the border is slowly changing. “Among these flows are a large number of women (including pregnant and lactating women), girls, boys, and adolescents (NNA), including separated and unaccompanied NNAs, indigenous people, people with some type of disability and chronic illnesses, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and more (LGBTQ+) people, and other populations that often face situations of vulnerability”, the institution has pointed out. In 2022, migration in Mexico was made up of 61% men, 23% women, 9% boys and 7% girls, according to the organization’s classification.

Migration in Mexico cannot be understood without the ubiquitous supervision of the United States to the north. Changes in the neighboring country’s policies have caused “significant impacts on the migration situation in Mexico and throughout the region,” says the IOM. The organization especially mentions Title 42, a controversial regulation established by former President Donald Trump during the coronavirus pandemic. the measure, under the excuse of health prevention, in practice allows the expulsion of migrants who arrive irregularly on US territory. Even though the current president, Joe Biden, has tried on several occasions to repeal it, he has repeatedly met with refusals from the courts.

Biden unveiled a new measure last week that seeks to contain irregular migration and which states that only people who request US asylum from their countries of origin will be able to cross the border. The rule has generated the indignation of human rights organizations and is reminiscent of the Stay in Mexico program, which allows people of other nationalities to be sent back to Mexico while they await a resolution from the US authorities on their asylum request. At the beginning of January, Biden already proposed another way to reduce the influx at the borders and admit 30,000 citizens of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti who have a “sponsor” in the United States every month.

From March 2020 to December 31, 2022, the United States carried out 2,548,284 deportations under Title 42 and another 2,539,990 expulsions under Title 8, another similar norm. In 2022 alone, the US border police made 2,578,184 arrests of migrants, 31%, the highest number, were Mexicans. “As in the case of the encounters registered by the Mexican immigration authorities, the number of encounters registered by the US authorities on the country’s southern border at an annual level reached historic levels in 2022,” explains the IOM. Mexico, for its part, registered 106,008 expulsions in 2022, 19% less than the previous year. The IOM has also pointed out the important role of remittances, which in 2022 saw the highest numbers “ever recorded in Mexico, reaching more than 58,000 billion dollars, according to data from the Bank of Mexico.”

Source: El Pais