Mexico comes up north

In the face of rising crime rates in Mexico, more Mexicans are looking to pack their bags and head north of the border… aaaand north of that border. 

Driving the news: Over 8,000 Mexicans have sought refugee status in Canada this year, a number five times more than last year and more than twice as many as in 2019.

Why it’s happening: As Mexico deals with a rising rate of violent crime, endangered groups are looking for a way out. In the past, they typically would have sought asylum in the US… 

  • …but a pandemic rule suspending asylum rights on the grounds of preventing Covid infections has been used disproportionately against those asylum seekers.

Canada is not only considered safer than the US but is easier to get into. Mexicans don’t require a visa and can seek a work permit immediately after applying for asylum status. 

Yes, but: Of the asylum cases finalized through the first nine months of 2022, only ~38% of them were accepted. The remaining claims were rejected, withdrawn, or abandoned. 

Bottom line: The odds that asylum seekers will attain refugee status are getting slimmer by the day. Canada’s bold new immigration plan, which aims to welcome 1.3 million newcomers by 2025, accounts for a gradual reduction of refugee admissions in that same time frame.