mexico haitian migrants
Migrants from Central America wait to apply for asylum in Tapachula, Mexico this year. (Reuters/Jose Torres)

NEW YORK — Haitians in Mexico continue to make their way north toward the United States border, with some arriving in the Mexican capital over the weekend. 

Thousands departed Tapachula, a city in the Chiapas province on Mexico’s southern border, in late October. Previously, they waited in vain for assurances of safe passage to the U.S. from the Mexican government. About 200 of these migrants, including Haitian and Central American nationals, were set to arrive in Mexico City on Dec. 10, La Prensa Latina reported

Migrants walked on foot from Tapachula, which is about 651 miles south of Mexico City. The closest point along the U.S. border is roughly 562 miles north of Mexico City, near McAllen, Texas. 

Haitians have been migrating after living previously in South America, via Mexico, for at least five years. In September alone, more than 12,000 mostly Haitians attempted to cross the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, drawing international attention.

Through the first nine months of 2021, Haitian asylum applications in Mexico rose four-fold from the prior year, to more than 26,000 applications filed. As of September, about 19,800 Haitians either had legal residence in Mexico or were being detained by immigration authorities, according to the Mexico Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR). 

Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.

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