Monday, September 26, 2016
No President Obama,
Mexico Is Not "Absorbing a Great Number of Refugees"
By Alex Nowrasteh (Cato Institute)
On [September 20], President
Obama delivered a short address to the Leaders Summit on Refugees at the United Nations. He went out of his way to praise the Mexican government by
stating: “Mexico … is absorbing a great number of refugees from Central America.”
In reality, the Mexican
government has done very little to absorb refugees. From 2013 to 2015, Mexico only recognized 720 refugees from Honduras, 721 from El Salvador, and 62 from Guatemala.
During the time period, Mexico granted asylum to 129 Hondurans, 82 Salvadorans, and 17 Guatemalans. That’s a total
of 1,731 refugees and asylum seekers from those countries. Only 83 of them were children.
In 2015 alone, Mexico deported
175,136 people to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador - more than 100 times as many as were accepted by the humanitarian
visa programs from 2013 to 2015.
Instead, President Obama should have thanked the Mexican government for enforcing American
immigration laws in a way that shields his administration from criticism. Mexico has improved its immigration laws in recent years but refugee and asylum laws are one area still in desperate need of reform. Let’s not let flowery speeches obscure
Thanks to Bryan Johnson for bringing this to my attention and Guillermina Sutter Schneider for her translation of Mexican
This article, "No
Mr. President, Mexico Is Not 'Absorbing a Great Number of Refugees,'" by
Alex Nowrasteh, was published on Sep. 22, 2016 at www.cato.org/blog under a Creative Commons license. Nowrasteh is the immigration policy
analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.