Throughout its history, Mexico has been a generous nation par excellence and has welcomed people of different nationalities who are persecuted in their countries of origin or whose existence is threatened for different reasons. The cases of Spaniards, Chileans and Guatemalans who have received refugee or political asylum status in Mexico stand out in this regard.
Since 1980, the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (Comar) was created with the purpose of establishing agreements with the corresponding international organizations in this matter; to study the needs and problems of the refugee population, as well as to provide protection and aid to seek temporary or permanent solutions regarding employment and economic self-sufficiency of these communities.
However, it was not until 2011 that the Mexican State issued a legal framework on the matter. Thus, the Law on Refugees and Complementary Protection was issued, which would be amended in 2014. This instrument considers as a person in a refugee status those who "being a foreigner, due to well-founded fears, are outside their country of origin or habitual residence, or are persecuted for reasons of race, gender, nationality, religion, violation of human rights, political opinions or internal conflicts".
This law is one of the great national advances in the matter, since it is not linked to migratory status, in addition to the fact that it assigns to the Comar the responsibility of resolving requests for recognition of refugee status. Furthermore, this regulation governs the actions of the Mexican State based on the principles of non-discrimination, non-refoulement and non-punishment, as well as the conceptual expansion of human rights violations as a reason for leaving the country of origin.
In the current context, in which migratory flows to and through Mexico have increased considerably, applications for refugee status have also increased by the same magnitude. Although the initial intention of migrants coming mainly from the Northern Triangle of Central America, but also from South America, the Caribbean and some countries of the African continent, was not to remain in Mexico and initiate a refugee status application process, but to reach the United States, some of them chose to initiate their procedures before the Comar.
In this regard, it should be noted that the Government of Mexico promotes a refugee and migration policy with full respect for human rights. Mexico is supportive and empathetic in the face of the violence and marginalization that drives those who are displaced from their places of origin. Therefore, the Unit for Migration Policy, Registration and Identity of Persons participates in the realization of forums to analyze the refugee status and different types of mobility through a human rights approach that allows the construction of public policies for the benefit of Mexicans and those who decide to integrate and rebuild their lives in the country.