Mexico talks with Canada about high number of asylum requests

By Thomson Reuters Feb 20, 2024 | 11:36 AM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday that his government is addressing a complaint from Canada over the high number of asylum requests from Mexicans.

According to data from the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Commission, between January and September 2023, Mexicans made the most asylum requests, with 17,500, well above Haitians, who made the second-highest number of requests with just over 8,500.

“We are dealing with it, he raised it with me in San Francisco, in the bilateral meeting we held, that they had that concern,” said Lopez Obrador, referring to a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum summit in November, when asked about the matter.

Trudeau said last week that Ottawa was talking to Mexico City to see how to reduce the number of asylum requests by Mexicans and said some people receive support from organized crime to reach Canadian territory.

The Canadian prime minister did not elaborate on what type of criminal organizations his government believes are behind the migration.

“There is an increase in asylum requests and we have to see if they are really people who require asylum or if it is a means to enter Canada,” added the Mexican president in his daily press conference.

Lopez Obrador said that Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena and her Canadian counterpart, Melanie Joly, have held several meetings to discuss the matter, without offering more details.

(Reporting by Raúl Cortés Fernández in Mexico City; Writing by Sarah Kinosian; Editing by Adriana Barrera and Matthew Lewis)