Social Issues

Migrants say Mexican immigration officials tricked them

Tapachula, Mexico, Jan 31 (EFE).- Third-country nationals trying to reach the United States said Tuesday that Mexico’s INM immigration agency promised them visas but instead issued them with documents allowing them to travel no farther than roughly 250 km (151 mi) from this city on the Guatemalan border.

People from Central America, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Cuba and Haiti told EFE that INM lied to induce them to register with authorities.

They said that the permits they received are only good for travel within Chiapas, Mexico’s southern-most state.

“I already turned myself in once and they gave me the paper and I can’t advance to Mexico City, they return me to Tapachula,” Ecuadorian migrant Zoila Pedra said. “This turning yourself in is false and they don’t help us at all, they just give us the paper to stay in Tapachula.”

Rafael Durante, a traveler from the Dominican Republic who has spent eight days waiting for a transit permit, accused the INM of forcing the migrants to live on the streets in “inhuman conditions.”

“The appeal we are making is that they let us leave here, that they open the door for us to leave. The moment they tell us that, I will get in a pick-up truck. Here one is cold, hungry, without money,” he told EFE.

Authorities have been transporting migrants gathered in Tapachula’s Miguel Hidalgo Park to a large INM facility for processing.

On INM agent told a migrant that the document being issued gives the bearer the right to remain on Mexican soil for 30 days pending a decision on his or her application for asylum in the Aztec nation.

US Customs and Border Protection intercepted a record 2.76 million unauthorized migrants on the country’s southern border during the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2022, while nearly 250,000 people applied for asylum in Mexico over the course of 2021 and 2022. EFE jmb/dr

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