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  • Protesters in Los Angeles denounce Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids on Central American refugees.

    Protesters in Los Angeles denounce Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids on Central American refugees. | Photo: Reuters

"The views that people have about a political change, they definitely impact everyone's consciousness," said a director at Mexico's refugee agency.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump was elected to office on a campaign of openly anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric, asylum applications in Mexico have soared more than 150 percent, with many more Central American migrants choosing to stay in the country rather than continuing the perilous journey to the border.

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Between November 2016 and March of this year, Mexico's refugee agency, Comar, received 5,421 asylum applications, which is up from 2,148 over the same period in 2015 and 2016.

In addition, the number of detentions along the southwestern U.S. border has also fallen about 4 percent over the same five-month period, again likely due to the fear of being detained stopping many from trying to enter the United States. Just like the vast majority of Mexico's asylum applicants, many of those detained on the U.S. border come from Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador.

According to U.S. Department of Homeland Security data, the number of Central American parents and children stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border has also plummeted since Trump's election to just over 1,000 in March, which is a 93 percent fall from December.

"The views that people have about a political change, they definitely impact everyone's consciousness," Cinthia Perez, a director at Comar, told Reuters, adding the caveat that it is still unclear whether there is a direct correlation between the number of asylum seekers and Trump’s victory.

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