Mexico To Launch An Asylum Processing App Next Week
Mexico is launching a new app to speed up its asylum process amid record levels of asylum seekers, even after a similar US app came under fierce criticism for glitches and difficulty of use.
Head of Mexico’s refugee assistance agency, COMAR, Andrés Ramírez says he believed an app was necessary in order to manage an overwhelming number of asylum requests in Mexico City. Reports said.
“We’re having so many people that we simply cannot cope,” Ramírez said.
Ramírez said that for the first time in the history of his agency, during the first 18 days of May, more asylum applications were filed in Mexico City than in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula, which borders Guatemala.
During that time, 3,300 applications were filed in Mexico City and 3,000 in Tapachula, Ramírez said.
The new app – called simply the “pre-registration system” – will allow individuals to register their intent to seek asylum online and is hoped to speed up processing. It is expected to launch next week in Mexico City only, with other areas expected to be added at a later date, according to Ramírez.
He believes that the influx is in part the result of the end of Title 42 in the US, which brought many more people to Mexico in hopes of crossing the US-Mexico border. Those hopes were punctured by a harsh new rule enacted by the Biden administration that bars most asylum-seekers who travelled through other countries from gaining protection in the United States if they enter the country illegally.
Ramírez also said that some individuals applying for asylum in Mexico City may still be waiting to get an appointment on US Customs and Border Protection’s CBP One App, through which users can make appointments to enter legally through a port of entry to make their case for asylum.
Apps For Asylum-Seekers
The US CBP One app has been sharply criticized by immigrant advocacy groups, who point out that some migrants lack the resources to get a smartphone, absence of adequate internet access to use the app, and may struggle with language and literacy barriers. Groups have also reported concerns about how the app’s facial recognition technology handles darker skin.
US Customs and Border Protection has told CNN that the app has worked as intended and that more than 79,000 individuals have scheduled appointments since the app was launched in January 2023. CBP also revamped the app earlier this month to address some of the concerns, and for the first time allowed people in central Mexico – not just on the US-Mexico border – to apply