In only one year, Mexican authorities recorded a 500 percent increase of African migrants and refugees crossing the country toward the U.S. border, reported La Jornada Sunday.
African migrants usually start their perilous trip in Brazil, according to Mexican officials, and cross through central Mexico en route to the northern border. They are given a 20-day reprieve to either leave the country or legalize their status in Mexico, with most choosing to leave. The measure has been a temporary solution as the federal government has so far failed to reach an agreement with neighboring countries.
Between January and August 2015, the INM registered 1,513 citizens from African countries, but in 2016 — for the same period — 7,366 people were registered.
As La Jornada reported, the U.S. border became a bottleneck as the Obama administration restricted access to foreigners, even when they would be entitled to claim refugee status.
Although Africans do not represent the majority, the proportion of refugee requests has increased by 150 percent between 2011 and 2016, with people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala accounting for 90 percent of the requests, according to the U.N. refugee agency.