Social Issues

Migrants on Mexico’s southern border seek new path out of limbo

Tapachula, Mexico, Mar 21 (EFE).- Thousands of migrants showed up here Tuesday at the offices of Mexico’s National Institute of Migration (INM) to apply for permits to travel by air to cities near the border with the United States.

The travelers are using CBP One, a mobile app created by US Customs and Border Protection, to apply for asylum in the United States.

CBP launched the app after Washington announced that it was ready to accept 30,000 migrants a month from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba.

Venezuelan migrant Gustavo Fernandez was one of the roughly 3,000 people who stood in line outside the INM station in Tapachula, a city near the border with Guatemala.

“This is new for me. I reached Tapachula, the first thing they told use was that there was a new application and a new opportunity to not go via the land route, where we suffer more,” he told EFE after securing an appointment with the INM.

The migrants in southern Mexico see the CBP One app as giving them an alternative to the arduous and often dangerous journey across Mexico over land.

“We are doing the process for a permit to the (US) border or to Mexico City and to be able to advance a little more via air since we have already been stuck here many days,” Fernandez said.

Several other Venezuelans obtained permits and left here last Friday on a commercial flight, he said.

Rogelio, a Cuban migrant, also came to the INM office Tuesday, but his ultimate goal is not the US.

“Thanks to this program, you can circulate in Mexico and they can reach the border. I don’t want to go to the United States, I want to stay in this country, because here everything is calm,” he said.

US authorities intercepted a record 2.76 million undocumented migrants on the southern border over the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2022. EFE jmb/dr

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