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Mexico Immigration Detention

Mexico's dual roles as a source and transit country for migrants traveling to North America have helped conspire to make it one of the most active detaining countries in the world. With a long-term detention capacity of more than 3,500, the country's immigration detention estate is larger than those of European countries like France and Spain. During 2012, the country detained nearly 90,000 migrants. This compares to 10,000 in Italy in 2011 and 25,000 in the United Kingdom in 2010. In 2011, the country adopted its first comprehensive immigration legislation, the Ley de Migracion. Although widely viewed as an important step forward in the effort to protect the rights of immigrants in Mexico, observers have expressed concern that protections provided for vulnerable people, like children, are often not implemented. In 2012, Mexico detained more than 6,000 minors.

Mexico Quick Facts

  • Immigration detainees:
    240,269
    Detained minors:
    9,893
    Persons expelled :
    232,157
    International migrants:
    1,103,500
    New asylum applications :
    753