Mexican Arrests of Underage Migrants More than Double in 2019

By Jason Peña on August 1, 2019

Despite recent reports of a drop in illegal migration, Mexico's National Institute of Migration (INM) reports that the number of migrant children apprehended in that country has more than doubled this year.

The data, for the period from January through June 2019, shows a 132 percent increase of migrant children taken into custody by Mexico's immigration authorities compared to the same period in 2018. So far this year, roughly 33,122 children and adolescents have been remanded to Mexican immigration authorities, compared to 14,279 during the first half of 2018. Of that figure, 24,597 children/adolescents were accompanied by a family member and 8,525 were unaccompanied when found by law enforcement.

Of the 33,122 minors for 2019, 42 percent were female and 58 percent male, compared to 35 and 65 percent, respectively, of the 14,279 apprehended in 2018. The large majority were from Honduras and Guatemala, with far smaller numbers from El Salvador and "other nationalities".

These apprehensions are much higher in the United States. Just the number of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) apprehended at the Southwest Border for January-June 2019 was 48,647, up 86 percent from the same period in 2018. (The number of children accompanying adults is not reported.)

Despite this, June witnessed the highest number of deportations from Mexico in over a decade. The deal made between President Donald Trump and President Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador to stem the tide of migrants to the United States, President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy, may be yielding the reduction in migration he anticipated.