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A group of migrants is being investigated for setting a fire at an immigration center in the south of Mexico, according to reports.
Early indications were that the fire was part of a riot caused by immigrants from El Salvador and Guatemala who were seeking temporary permits.
“The Attorney General’s Office (FGR) is investigating a fire at a Oaxaca immigration center, allegedly set by migrants early Sunday,” Mexico News Daily reported.
“The investigation has revealed that 107 migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador were waiting to obtain temporary permits to remain in Mexico but National Immigration Institute (INM) agents had not issued them.”
“Just after midnight on Sunday, the migrants began to riot in protest, and set the building on fire,” the outlet continued.
“Eight people were subsequently arrested at the immigration center, located in San Pedro Tapanatepec in the Isthmus of Tehuatepec, but several escaped.”
Meanwhile, in neighboring Chiapas state, a mass migrant escape over the weekend further highlighted how serious the problem is — and it wasn’t the first time that the facility had seen serious trouble.
“The facility was shut down for 50 days in March after a brawl that was triggered by Cubans demanding faster processing times and protesting corruption among immigrant agents who were allegedly charging up to US $900 to process immigration documents,” Mexico News Daily reported.
You’d be hard-pressed to find any mention of the kind of violence these centers have seen because of the overwhelming numbers of migrants from other Central American countries, however, if you were to read establishment media reports of the immigration crisis.
Take this Associated Press piece filed in April from Chiapas state, where police were arresting members of a migrant caravan: “Some of the women and children wailed and screamed during the detentions on the roadside. Clothes, shoes, suitcases and strollers littered the scene after they were taken away.”
“Kevin Escobar, a 27-year-old from Honduras, was one of about 500 migrants who fled onto private property to avoid immigration agents. Sitting on the property, he yelled to them: ‘Why do you want to arrest me?’” the AP reported.
“Escobar vowed that he will never return to his hometown of San Pedro Sula, saying ‘the gangs are kidnapping everyone back there.’”
It’s worth noting that the word “illegal” or “crime” appear zero times in the story, which is interesting because they were being arrested for being in Mexico illegally, which is a crime.
As for the “credible fear” defense involving gangs, even liberals like Thomas Friedman are beginning to admit that it’s being deployed promiscuously as a method of gaining entry to the United States.
“By law, anyone asking for asylum has to be taken in for a ‘credible-fear hearing’ to determine if the asylum claim has merit. The bar is low and leaflets circulating in Tijuana coach people on what exactly to say to pass that interview to qualify for a formal hearing before an immigration judge,” Friedman wrote in an April New York Times piece where he also noted that “roughly 30 percent of those apprehended [at the border] sought asylum — up from 1 percent a couple of years ago.”
In short, these migrants are gaming the system for primarily economic reasons. Most of them are peaceful. There is a significant portion who are not. All of them are in Mexico illegally and are looking to pass into the United States illegally, however. This is the narrative we should be focused on — not sob stories.