Social Issues

Activists point to new surge of migrants on Mexico’s southern border

Tapachula, Mexico, Jul 4 (EFE).- Migrants hopeful of reaching the United States continue to cross into Mexico from Guatemala despite Washington’s stepped-up efforts to encourage asylum-seekers to apply from their home countries, activists in this southern border city said Tuesday.

Irineo Mujica, director of Pueblo Sin Fronteras (People Without Borders), said that the app created by US immigration authorities for asylum claims, CBP One, has had no impact on migrants’ willingness to embark on the difficult and dangerous journey.

“The only thing this application has done is bring more migration,” he told EFE in Tapachula, just north of the Guatemalan border. “The waves of migrants will continue coming because it is the causes that are expelling people.”

EFE heard the same message last week from officials with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), who said that the northbound flow of migrants has returned to its previous level after falling briefly in May, when US asylum policy changed.

With the end of the state of emergency for the Covid-19 pandemic, the US government turned away from Title 42, a provision of a 1944 public health law that was used to summarily deport 2.8 million asylum-seekers over the course of three years.

The asylum process reverted to being regulated by Title 8 of US immigration law, under which asylum applicants who are turned down can face not only deportation, but years-long bans on trying again.

Mujica said that while heavy rains in the Darien Gap, an expanse of jungle that separates Colombia from Panama, slowed the movement of migrants, the pace will quicken as dry weather returns.

Among the new arrivals in Tapachula is Adonis, a taxi driver from Cuba, who issued an appeal to the US government to facilitate family reunification.

“What the new laws do is make migration more difficult for the people seeking a better future,” he told EFE.

US immigration authorities intercepted more than 2.76 million undocumented migrants on the Mexican border during the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, 2022. EFE jmb/dr

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