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What’s Behind the Recent Wave of Mexican Asylum Seekers in the U.S.?

Mexico is not a country traditionally associated with people fleeing and seeking asylum. If anything, Mexico is known to grant asylum to people who flee totalitarian regimes and countries scarred by civil strife. Keeping this in mind, the recent wave of Mexican nationals coming to the United States in search of asylum is puzzling.

Many of the asylum seekers arriving from Mexico cite the undeniable and credible fear of violence that the United States-lead War on Drugs has created in their country. According to a recent CNN news report, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has seen a significant increase in asylum requests by Mexicans over the last few years, which happens to coincide with the escalation of the war against Mexico’s powerful drug cartels.

Reports by the USCIS indicate that only 54 asylum requests were filed by Mexicans in 2003. By 2008, more than 500 requests had been made. The Mayor of the City of El Paso in Texas explains that the credible fear cited by asylum seekers is that Drug War violence is creeping into their towns, or that extortionists or hostage takers may have an interest in them. Some asylum seekers are police officers and journalists.

Although consulate processing near San Diego is common with the Mexico border being in close proximity, the USCIS is concerned that some of the asylum requests might be politically motivated and opportunistic. In recent days, the border crossing in San Diego has seen up to 200 Mexicans apply for asylum, and many seem prepared and even coached in this regard.

News reports related to the increase in asylum applications suggest the possibility of some Mexican nationals protesting U.S. immigration policy by willfully applying for asylum with the knowledge that they are clogging up the system. The total number of asylum requests received by the USCIS in the first half of the year was close to 20,000; in the past, only about a hundred requests were filed by Mexican nationals. These days, however, several hundred asylum requests are received.

The U.S. is required to carefully review all the asylum requests it receives, particularly when they are from a neighboring country they know is suffering from violence stemming from the War on Drugs. If you have other questions regarding the recent wave of Mexican asylum seekers or have questions about immigration applications and paperwork, contact KS Visa Immigration Law in San Diego. Our professionals will be more than happy to assist you in any and all of your immigration needs.

October 2023