By Marquise Nichols
Mexico has an immigration problem. This is not a new issue, but the recent overwhelming influx of new immigrants into the country has many concerned. According to U.S. News & World Report, over 4,479 migrants have entered through Mexico’s Tapachula immigration center in just three days.
A majority of these immigrants are of African and Asian descent , who are traveling
through Central America and Mexico to get to the United States to seek asylum. Unlike other countries, Mexico is more lenient with its immigration laws, which soon might change given the present circumstances. Nina Lakhani of The Guardian explains “that these migrants can obtain a temporary travel document which allows them to continue unimpeded to the U.S. border since Mexico has no deportation agreements with their countries.”
The country is now feeling the full effect of Mexico’s lenient immigration policies. Officials are trying their the best to combat the issue, even setting up shelters, Alex Pfeifer reported in The Daily Caller. Despite the immigrants’ long trek to seek refuge, Socorro Flores, undersecretary of Latin America and the Caribbean for the Mexican Foreign Ministry, told El Universal that “many of them will have to return to their countries.”
It’s a situation that some politicians in the United States cite as ironic, given the recent
ongoing political dilemma of illegal Mexican immigrants in America. Despite the U.S. government’s own immigration debacle, Reuters reports that U.S. border patrol officers are working closely with Mexican immigration officers on implementing a stricter policy on who they let in due to concerns of the recent “string of Islamic State-inspired attacks in the West and the surge in Syrian refugees fleeing that country’s civil war.”
Although many are skeptical of the incoming strangers, a wave of Mexican citizens have come out to offer food, shelter and support to the misplaced. “They’re really lovely people who need our help during their difficult situation,” Janeth Aguilar of Tijuana told KPBS news. “We come every day. We bring them candy, food, we were with them for a little while. Yesterday, they braided my whole head of hair.”
Some of the Mexicans have been so welcoming towards the immigrants that many have opted to stay in Mexico instead of traveling to America and risk being sent back to their countries . How long the immigrants will be able to stay is still unclear.
Photograph by Geraint Rowland courtesy of Flickr