Friday, January 27, 2023

115% increase in Cuban asylum applications in Mexico

HAVANA.— Asylum applications from Cubans who want to live in Mexico have increased by 115% this year, surpassing displaced Venezuelans and Haitians who led the list of refugee requests in 2021.

According to data from the Mexican Commission for Aid to Refugees (COMAR), requests for hospital The number of Cubans increased from 8,248 in 2021 to 17,487 from January to November this year. This latest figure is the highest in a decade.

So far in 2022, only Hondurans (with 29,390 applications) outnumber Cubans.

This increase in asylum requests by Cubans was also reflected in visa applications to travel to Mexico. That country’s government modified its consular appointment system in Havana to “expedite the process” via the Internet.

Authorities are preparing changes to the Citas Cuba platform to expand the availability of spaces, make their management transparent and eliminate middlemen who profit from users’ personal data.

From now on, placements corresponding to the first quarter of 2023 will be given in the order they are requested. Cubans will continue to visit Mexican diplomatic headquarters to process, but appointments will now be made only via the Internet.

Priority will be given to family reunion visa, then work visa and then study visa. The appointments for the second quarter of 2023 will be handed over during the first half of March.

This year, due to numerous complaints about the alleged selling of appointments to obtain visas, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an internal investigation into the consular services of its embassy in Havana.

According to data from Mexico’s migration policy unit, 98,664 Cubans entered Mexico by air alone between January and October, 31,645 more than those registered in 2021.

Cuban rafters reach America

On the other hand, some 15 Cuban rafters arrived in Florida this Sunday in a rustic boat, US Border Patrol agent Walter N. Slosser reported on Twitter.

Officers detained the migrants at Colony Beach Key at 5:00 am. They had migrated from the province of Matanzas.

Slosser assured that between Thursday and Friday the US Border Patrol detained 47 Cuban rafters after several landings. Similarly, another 175 immigrants from the island were arrested in the Florida Keys and Hollywood Beach on Wednesday and Thursday.

Between 21 and 25 December, 237 Cubans arrived in Florida in unsecured boats.

For its part, the US Coast Guard (USCG) blocked a group of Cuban rafters from reaching the US on Friday morning. The USCG clarified that they continue their patrols during the holidays.

Between October 1 and December 22, 2022, the USCG detained 3,724 Cubans at sea, an average of 44 per day. In the month of November, 34,675 migrants from the island arrived in the US, an average of 1,155 per day.

Fuentes: Cuban Daily

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