Estimates of how many Central Americans are living in Mexico are hard to come by, in part because some, like Zaldivar, have obtained forged Mexican identity documents. But statistics show more and more are staying legally by seeking political asylum or humanitarian visas.There's more:
Asylum applications in Mexico nearly tripled over three years, hitting 3,424 in 2015. Asylum requests this year are poised to be twice that, human rights advocates say, with most filed by Hondurans and Salvadorans.
The number of migrants seeking to stay in Mexico pales in comparison to the droves heading to the U.S. — more than 400,000 people were apprehended at the U.S. southern border in the fiscal year that ended in September, most of them from Central America.
But the burden on Mexico and other countries is likely to increase if President-elect Donald Trump makes good on his promises to beef up border security and deport up to 3 million people living in the U.S. illegally.
Mexican authorities deported close to 200,000 people last year, and between October 2014 and May 2015, they detained more Central American migrants than the U.S. Border Patrol. Human rights advocates expect 2016 to be the year with the highest number of detentions and deportations yet.You'll want to read the entire article.
Advocates have raised concerns about the treatment of migrants by Mexican immigration authorities, citing cases of extortion and abuse. They have also called on the Mexican government to slow deportations and approve more asylum requests. Last year, only 1,207 out of 3,486 were granted.
They say gang violence makes the current exodus from Honduras and El Salvador far different than previous waves of economic migration, and insist the U.S. and Mexico should recognize immigrants from those countries as refugees.