- Title: Hundreds of migrants in southern Mexico scramble for asylum applications
- Date: 29th September 2021
- Summary: TAPACHULA, CHIAPAS, MEXICO (SEPTEMBER 28, 2021) (REUTERS) MIGRANTS WALKING OUTSIDE TAPACHULA FOOTBALL STADIUM MIGRANTS QUEUING OUTSIDE STADIUM TO REQUEST ASYLUM OFFICIAL GIVING INSTRUCTIONS ON SPEAKERPHONE MIGRANTS QUEUING OUTSIDE STADIUM OFFICIAL TELLING MIGRANTS THEY WON'T BE SEEN TO WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT STADIUM EXTERIOR VARIOUS OF PEOPLE QUEUING OUTSIDE AND WALKING IN BANNER WITH APPOINTMENT DETAILS NATIONAL GUARD OFFICERS LOOKING ON (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MIGRANT FROM SAN PEDRO SULA, HONDURAS, WHO IS TRAVELLING WITH HER SISTER AND CHILDREN, ALEJANDRA GARCIA, SAYING: "We came for the appointments but it turns out that only those who have an actual appointment will be seen too. Those of us without an appointment will be notified (if a spot opens up). We were given this (flyer) with an email, in order to request an appointment within a month. That's what we were told. Those who were on the database but didn't complete the paperwork will be eliminated to allow others to have that spot.'' VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS WITH OFFICERS LOOKING ON VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS TALKING TO MIGRATION PERSONNEL (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) 38-YEAR-OLD HAITIAN MIGRANT FROM PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, TRAVELLING WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN, CHENET (LAST NAME NOT GIVEN), SAYING: "I want to make an appointment for my family." (REPORTER OFF-CAMERA: "How many in your family?") "We are four." (REPORTER OFF-CAMERA: "You were told there are no spots?") "They said there are no spots now, no appointments." VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS REQUESTING ASYLUM (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OFFICIAL IN CHARGE OF THE MEXICAN COMMISSION FOR AID TO REFUGEES IN CHIAPAS, ALMA DELIA CRUZ, SAYING: "If you interview people or organisations who say there is corruption, then please let us know. We are open to receiving complaints and evidence, which we'll take to the attorney general's office, but it's important media try to encourage reporting these cases. The problem is that rumours exist - 'yes, there is corruption, we sold, we bought' - but they don't have proof.'' MIGRANT TALKING TO MIGRATION OFFICIAL MIGRANT LEAVING AFTER BEING TOLD APPOINTMENT IS NOT VALID
- Embargoed: 13th October 2021 02:07
- Keywords: 000 migrants 1 Guatemala Tapachula asylum national refugee agency sports stadium
- Location: TAPACHULA, CHIAPAS, MEXICO
- City: TAPACHULA, CHIAPAS, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,South America / Central America,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001EWMYCZR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Around 1,000 migrants flocked to a sports stadium in southern Mexico on Tuesday (September 28) to claim appointments for requesting asylum in the country as the national refugee agency grapples with surging demand that has overwhelmed capacity.
Thousands of other migrants have amassed in the city of Tapachula, bordering Guatemala, often waiting months for responses to their asylum applications.
It's a state of limbo that many migrants without jobs or money find intolerable.
Large numbers of Haitian migrants made their way to Del Rio, in the U.S. state of Texas, this month, forming a camp of 14,000 people just north of the Mexican border.
Mexican officials are now urging Haitians who retreated to Mexico, fearful of deportation to Haiti, to complete their asylum applications in Tapachula.
A couple hundred migrants were already in line by 5 a.m. on Tuesday and several hundred others joined throughout the day to make sure they could hang on to appointments in a system that is booked through the end of the year.
Mexico's Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) said people with appointments before October 20 who did not show up between Tuesday and Thursday would lose their spot.
Most asylum seekers clustered at the stadium were from Haiti, the nationality that ranks second for most asylum applications in Mexico this year, after Hondurans.
A representative from UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, told migrants waiting in a line that snaked across the stadium parking lot that the appointment verification process would free up room for others.
Some people were turned away.
Chenet, 38, a migrant from Haiti who did not give his last name, said he paid 6,000 pesos ($300) to someone in Tapachula to guarantee an appointment, not realising it was fraudulent.
(Production: Jose Torres, Rodolfo Pena Roja, Geraldine Downer)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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