Mexico saw refugee, asylum claims almost double in 2021

MEXICO CITY (AP) – The number of people applying for refugee or asylum status in Mexico almost doubled between 2019 and 2021, reaching a historic high of over 130,000.

While numbers dipped in 2020, that was largely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Before, migrants rarely sought protection in Mexico, preferring to make their claims in the United States. But the toughening of border enforcement and the slowdown in U.S. asylum processing apparently led many to apply for refuge in Mexico.

The Mexican Comission on Refugee Aid said the biggest increase was in applications from Haitians, which grew from 5,500 in 2019 to over 51,000 in 2021.