More Than 4,000 Cubans Entered Mexico in the First Months of This Year

A Cuban migrant with passports to deliver to the National Institute of Migration after crossing the Suchiate River between Guatemala and Mexico. (Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald Archive)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 July 2019 — In the first five months of this year, 4,225 Cubans entered Mexican territory. The figure is 30 times higher than the 135 that arrived in Mexico in the same period the previous year, according to data from the National Migration Institute of Mexico.

There are many fewer Cubans than Central Americans, but they contribute to the increase in a route that also includes migrants from Asia and Africa who cross Mexico to try to reach the border with the United States.

Currently, Cubans have grown more than any other group this year, according to data published by the Immigration Policy unit of the Ministry of the Interior.

Last week a hundred Cuban migrants in Mexico rioted near the US border in protest at the slow pace of their asylum process. The islanders were stationed in one of the international bridges that connect Mexico and the United States in the state of Tamaulipas, in front of the facilities of the National Institute of Migration (INM).

“The National Institute of Migration is not receiving us (…) They do not take our names, they do not call anyone, and some of us have already been here four months, others even longer, we are desperate, we can no longer live in these conditions,” they related through social networks.

Finally, the immigration authorities met with several of the protesters and explained that the delays are due to the United States, on whom the bureaucratic process depends. While waiting for a response from the United States, many of these migrants have camped on the banks of the Rio Grande in tents.

Between last March and April, at least 300 Cubans were deported from Mexico back to the Island on five flights that arrived at the José Martí International Airport in Havana. The National Migration Institute reported that these were migrants who had an ‘irregular’ stay in Mexico and were returned according to current legal procedures and in agreement with Cuban authorities.

Washington has demanded that Mexico work to reduce the flow of migrants, mostly Central Americans who are escaping poverty and violence in their countries, but also Cubans, Haitians and Africans. President Donald Trump has threatened his neighboring country with applying tariffs to Mexican imports if that demand is not met.

Between January and June of this year, Mexico arrested more than 74,000 migrants and deported more than 53,000. In May 2016, a memorandum of understanding between Cuba and Mexico entered into force in which Havana committed to receiving back its citizens who arrive in Mexico with an irregular migration status.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.