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7 April 2018

Translated from ¿Tiene razón Trump?, J. Jésus Lema, Reporte Indigo

United States President Donald Trump celebrated yesterday the dilution of the “Viacrucis Migrante” caravan crossing through Mexican territory thanks, according to his Twitter account, to Mexico’s “strong” immigration policy.
Even though the Mexican government officially denied intervening in the movement’s dissolution, similiarity between the two country’s immigration policies are once again at the center of a debate.

Official statistics confirm Trump’s contention that Mexico has a “strong immigration policy”. Deportation rates in Mexico are up 80 percent this past year.

Just in the months of January and February of 2018, according to figures from the National Institute of Migration (INM for its initials in Spanish), the US government deported 32,017 Mexicans. In the same period, the INM detained 20,928 illegal entrants into Mexico, deporting 77 percent (16,278) of them.
During 2017, per IMN statistics, the United States ordered the repatriation of 166,986 Mexicans, while in the same year, Mexico deported 80,353 foreigners, mostly Central Americans, for illegal entry.

What these numbers demonstrate is that the immigration policy the U.S. government pursues against Mexicans who enter their country without documentation, is in practice the same as that pursued by Mexico against migrants who come mainly from the countries of Central America.
In 2017, of the 95,497 migrants who were detained by the Mexican immigration authorities, 84 percent were returned to their countries.

The numbers reveal that the majority of migrants in Mexico are Central Americans looking to find better opportunities. Of the 80,353 migrants who were expelled from the country, 35,133 were from Guatemala, 29,000 from Honduras and 11,542 from El Salvador.

Of the 166,986 Mexicans who were expelled from the United States in 2017, the greatest number were from eight states: 6,059 from Guerrero; 14,937 from Michoacan; 14,722 from Oaxaca; 11,087 from Guanajuato; 9,236 from Veracruz; 8,355 from Puebla; 8,221 from Jalisco; and 7,680 from the State of Mexico.


Compared with high deportation figures from Mexico are comparatively low number of people who remain on national soil, mainly under refugee status.

According to data from the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (COMAR for its initials in Spanish), from 2013 to December 2017, the Mexican government has only granted refugee statutes to 23 percent of the 29,552 foreign applicants who have applied for political asylum, mainly Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans.

COMAR figures show that of the14,596 foreigners who entered illegally into our country and requested refugee status, the Mexican government denied that possibility to a total of 1,650 people. Another 2,233 never completed the bureaucratic procedure, 167 voluntarily gave up their petition, and 7,719 are still waiting for a response.

In sum, of all the applicants for political asylum registered in 2017, a total of 4,475 foreigners completed the administrative process, of which 1,907 were recognized as refugees, and 908 received complementary protection for their safety from the Mexican government. By gender, 5,876 were women, and 8,720 were men.

Central American migrants have fared poorly in their request for asylum. Of those 1,907 persons granted asylum as refugees, 907 were Venezuelans. Only 378 of the 4,272 Hondurans who requested asylum received it, and of the 3,708 Salvadorians, only 525 were given permission to stay.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. gene gaudi permalink
    7 April 2018 8:30 am

    I don’t get it. You count the countries who were returned / deported from Mexico and compare them to the number per states in Mexico who were deported from the US. Pick a common denominator and stick with the subject and stop (for a change) trying to pick and choose who you want to win. Your bias always shines through the fog.

    • 7 April 2018 11:59 am

      I think your argument is with Jesús Lema… I suppose you could say that by chosing to translate this article on this Mexican domestic issue I’m picking a side, though that side would be Lema’s contention that Mexico also has been less than proactive in dealing with the refugee situation. The style of Mexican magazine writing is not that of US magazine writing. I’m not the editor of Reporte Indigo either. I debated whether to bother including Lema’s data on deportations by state when I translated the article (most of it… I left off a few paragraphs relating to Trump’s talking about troops on the border at the end of the article) for the same reason you mention.

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