According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of asylum seekers to Mexico has increased by around 9 percent every month this year. So far this year more than twice as many people as last year has sought asylum. Last year saw an increase of 65 percent from 2014, reports NTB
– We expect that this year’s trend of more people seeking protection here in Mexico will continue, says Rafael Zavala, director of UNHCR’s office in the city of Tenosique, located south of the country near the border with Guatemala.
More immigrants and their advocacy organizations say they choose to settle in Mexico rather than the United States, and that it has to do with increased risk by trying to cross the border – and Donald Trump’s rhetoric. During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly talked about protecting the United States by building a wall against Mexico.
In addition, Trump has proposed to make it difficult for Muslims to enter the country.
Carlos Mejia and Saimi Julio and their two young children have traveled from Honduras and expect to be granted asylum in Mexico. They have never even considered traveling to the USA.
– It is difficult to travel to the US, you risk much violence and crime along the way, says Mejia.