New COMAR data shows over 13,000 asylum applicants waiting since 2018

Asylum Access Press Release

Mexico City, MX — 

  • New Transparency Law data from COMAR shows impact of US and Mexican asylum policies
  • 63,860 people are waiting for asylum in Mexico. Over 6,000 have been waiting for a decision for over a year, leaving them stuck in the state where they applied. 

New COMAR data obtained by an Asylum Access Mexico Transparency Law request shows a backlog of 63,860 people waiting for a decision in the Mexican asylum system, including 17,325 children, as of October 2019. 13,089 people who applied in 2018 were still waiting in October 2019 — 44% of total 2018 applicants. 6,230 had been waiting over a year. 3,539 children who applied in 2018, including 1,136 children under age 5, were still waiting. 

These delays have severe human costs. During the wait time refugees are forbidden from leaving the state in which they applied. Most applicants are stuck in northern or southern border states with high rates of poverty and violence. Asylum Access Mexico clients in this situation have gotten desperate enough to try their luck crossing into the United States. 10,000 people who applied between Jan 2018 and Oct 2019 have abandoned or withdrawn their applications, after an average wait time of 164 days.

Charts and tables on applications in each state over time help flesh out the impact of the Mexican National Guard crackdown in the south and US turnback policy in the north, providing valuable evidence to advocates and journalists.

Asylum Access is releasing the data and a factsheet with analysis (also available in Spanish here). Contact Daniel Berlin, Deputy Director of Asylum Access Mexico, at +52 (55) 1518-0730 or for more information on the data or Asylum Access Mexico’s experiences with asylum clients facing long COMAR waits. Asylum Access Mexico is the largest provider of asylum legal aid in Mexico.