MEXICO

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GENERAL DATA

Poverty rate:

42%

 out of the total population.

MIGRATION DATA:

  • Sending country: around 12 million Mexicans or 9.5% of the total population reside abroad mainly in the US (97.4%), Canada (0.73%) and Spain (0.45%).

  • Destination country: around 1 million immigrants or 0.85% of the total population live in Mexico. The main countries of origin are the US (71.87%), Guatemala (4.16%) and Spain (2.22%). 

  • Transit country: Due to its geographic location Mexico has been a country of transit for irregularized migrants en route to the US who originate mostly from Central America, but also from South America, the Caribbean, and African, Asian, and the Middle Eastern countries. In particular, the southern states of Mexico are important transit areas for irregularized migrants. Mexican authorities estimate that some 150,000 Central American migrants pass through its territory annually.

  • Host country for refugees: In 2017, figures indicate that there were 8,975 people recognized as refugees in Mexico, arriving from El Salvador (37%), Honduras (32.3%), and Venezuela (13.2%). In addition, in 2019 the number of asylum requests rose, reporting 27,033 refugees and 5,815 with complimentary protection.

IMPACT BY COVID-19

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* daily data update

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STATE MEASURES

  • During the month of October, facing a new caravan of migrants that left Honduras heading north, the governments of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and mainly Guatemala activated their military and border mechanisms to stop it. Coordinated actions were observed between the countries, such as the suspension of free movement that is supposed to be, according to law, guaranteed throughout the countries of the northern triangle and Nicaragua (among these countries, citizens typically do not need a visa to circulate).

  • The main arguments employed by governments to stop the caravan revolved around health justifications, thus the Covid-19 pandemic has served as the perfect excuse to undermine the rights of migrants and to cancel the right to international protection. With this, it is also confirmed that these countries carry out actions to stop and return migrant populations as indicated by their role in the externalization of the US borders.

  • Mexico threatened that if the October caravan arrived in the country and that if sanitary conditions were not met, they would be subject to the law. The National Migration Institute - INM reminded that: “All civil, military and private authorities that use the INM facilities, such as internment areas in the country, must comply with health protocols. The Federal Penal Code and the penal codes of Chiapas and Tabasco provide penalties of 5 to 10 years in prison for anyone who puts another in danger of contagious health conditions,” according to bulletin 366/2020.

  • Discourses emanating from the governments involved are highly contradictory. They are replete with good wishes but in practice apply forms of violence and constant abuses. For example, during October, the Guatemalan government was instrumental in stopping the caravan, stifling the pace of movement through innovative techniques such as cutting off their food and aid supplies.

  • During the month of November, abuses against migrants who transit through Mexico continued. According to organizations such as the CDH of Mexico City, in this time the detentions of migrants have intensified, meanwhile the processes for recognition of refugees have been delayed, resulting in the denial of access to the health for migrants.

  • The Secretariat of Inclusion and Social Welfare (Sibiso) of Mexico City reported on November 5 through the Official Gazette on the cancellation of the procedures and activities of the “Hospitable City and Human Mobility” program for fiscal year 2020. This program included support for returnees, displaced persons, refugee seekers, and people in transit.

  • The month of November was accompanied by raids and arrests in the south and north of the country by the National Guard of Mexico.

  • Despite the fact that the socioeconomic disadvantages of migrants increase their chances of contracting Covid-19, in December the Mexican and US governments excluded undocumented people from vaccination programs, increasing their vulnerability.

  • In the wake of storms Iota and Eta in Central America, there is incessant unemployment and the consequent reduction in remittances, which greatly affects the societies of origin. However, the work of migrants in the United States is essential to overcome the onslaught of the pandemic.

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