Despite being offered refuge in Mexico, Central American minors continue to travel north to the United States.
Responding to criticism from a Human Rights Watch report about Central American minors, Mexico said they DO offer refuge to all unaccompanied minors going through their country from Central America, but most reject it, as their goal is to go to the United States.
The Human Rights Watch report stated that “Between January and November 2015 Mexican immigration authorities detained 16,869 unaccompanied minors from the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador). Of those apprehended, only 52 received refugee status, which means only 0.3 percent received international protection in the first 11 months of 2015.”
Mexico’s National Institute for Migration (INM) reassured that it prioritizes the minors’ safety and respect of their rights. It also acknowledges that these minors’ final destination is the United States, and they use Mexico as a passageway. Moreover, the INM explains that, “All unaccompanied girls, boys, and adolescents are offered refuge in Mexico and the INM has documented that minors reject it because their sole purpose is to reach the United States or to be reunited with their closest relatives because in Mexico they would not have to opportunity to do so.”
This raises a legitimate question: What right do the unaccompanied illegal minors have to ask for asylum, claiming they are fleeing for their lives, if they have already rejected asylum that was offered by another country they just passed through?
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