Central American Migrants, Unable to Get Asylum in the U.S., Marry Mexicans

By Jason Peña on March 6, 2020

Some Central American migrants are marrying Mexicans to regularize their immigration status in Mexico, according to Gladys Canas. president of a migrant aid organization in Matamoros (the Mexican city opposite Brownsville, Texas) called Helping Them Succeed.

According to Canas, migrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala waiting in Mexico for their U.S. asylum hearings began marrying Mexican citizens to acquire residency in Mexico. Not wanting to return home after their asylum claims are almost certainly rejected, some migrants initiated the steps to marry before their asylum claims in the U.S. were fully processed.

"So far in February, we have had 50 couples asking for reports on the requirements for marriage," Canas said.

Enrique Maciel Cervantes, an official with Mexico's National Migration Institute, said the wait time for a foreign national to obtain residency after they marry a Mexican citizen is short. "In two months a migrant is given their permanent residence in Mexico, and in a span of five years they can be a naturalized Mexican citizen."