RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The National Institute of Migration (INM) announced that between January 1st and March 21st, 31,492 foreigners entered without documentation to prove their right to stay in Mexico. The information was released one day after the meeting held between U.S. and Mexican authorities to address the complex situation faced on the border shared by the two countries due to the massive influx of unauthorized migrants.
The number of undocumented migrants exceeds by 17.8% (4,799 people) the record of the same period last year, which was 26,713 people, the INM said in a statement.
Of these migrants, the largest proportion came from Honduras, with 17,598 people, followed by Guatemala with 9,422, and El Salvador with 2,348.
Mexican authorities identified that among the group of unauthorized migrants there are 3,438 minors, of which 1,297 entered unaccompanied and were placed under the guardianship of the State System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF), where they were relocated, the report adds.
A U.S. delegation made up of former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, currently the White House’s top advisor on border issues; Juan González, senior director of the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere, and Ricardo Zúñiga, who was recently appointed as special envoy for the Northern Triangle, visited the Mexican capital on Tuesday, March 23rd, to address migration and regional development issues.
During the meeting with the Mexican delegation, which was headed by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, they discussed “humanitarian actions to promote, in the short term, inclusive economic development in the north of Central America,” the Mexican government said in a statement.
The main source of migrants arriving at the southern border of the United States come from the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which have been hit by the economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, corruption, violence and most recently by two devastating hurricanes last November.
The Mexican government announced last week new restrictions on its southern border where only essential crossings will be allowed due to the pandemic. Some analysts considered the measure as a façade for increased immigration enforcement.