Venezuelans will now also have to apply for a visa to enter Mexico. The Ministry of the Interior (Segob) has published this Friday an agreement to impose this requirement on nationals of that country, after identifying an increase in migrants who travel for a purpose other than that allowed to visitors without permission to work, such as to move to the United States. The agreement will enter into force two weeks after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation.
The Mexican Government has justified the decision with the argument that more than a third of Venezuelans who arrived in Mexico from January to September of this year did so in an “irregular transit to a third country,” according to the preliminary draft published in the platform of the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (Conamer). The document highlights that, according to Migration statistics, the authorities have detected an increase of more than 1,000% in the migratory flow from Venezuela in the first nine months of 2021, compared to the same period of the previous five years.
Segob has also highlighted that there has been an increase in false statements about the reasons for the trip to Mexico, as well as in the diversification of transit routes. It has also warned that “crimes associated with international mobility, such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling, have been identified, which reflects an inappropriate use of the facilitation measure with different impacts.”
According to the agreement, Venezuelans who intend to enter Mexican territory “in the condition of a visitor’s stay without permission to carry out paid activities” must process the visa in terms of the General Guidelines for the issuance of visas issued by the Ministries of the Interior and Ministry of the Interior. Foreign Relations, published in the Official Gazette of the Federation on October 10, 2014. On the other hand, the Mexican authorities have reported that they work in collaboration with the Government of Venezuela “to guarantee safe, orderly and regular migratory flows that allow in in due course, abolish the visa requirement ”.
In line with this latest measure, Mexico has recently suspended non-visa agreements with Brazil and Ecuador to curb the flow of migrants heading to the United States. Since December 11, Brazilian tourists must present their visa to enter Mexico, while Ecuadorian travelers who decide to arrive in Mexico must also present their immigration document.
The transit of migrants through Mexico in search of the American dream has grown in recent years. According to government figures, more than 190,000 undocumented people have been detected in Mexico between January and September, triple the number in 2020. Some 74,300 have been deported.
Last October, Mexico reached a new all-time high in asylum applications with more than 100,000, according to government figures. In the first 10 months of the year, the number of applications tripled compared to the same period in 2020 when about 41,000 procedures were counted. Venezuela has topped the list of countries where the largest number of applicants come from in past years. It is estimated that some six million people have left the Latin American country plunged into a deep economic and political crisis in recent years.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.