Mexico sanctions 1,040 immigration officers for corruption

Immigration

An officer from the National Migration Institute shines a light to check the validity of visitor’s permits for two young Guatemalans, aboard a northbound bus at a checkpoint outside Tapachula, Mexico, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Mexican officials had deployed the country’s new National Guard for immigration enforcement, but commuters, merchandise, and occasional groups of migrants continued to flow freely across the Suchiate on Mexico’s porous southern border. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The head of Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said Friday more than 1,040 immigration officers have been referred to the internal affairs office or forced to quit after they were caught demanding bribes and other acts of corruption.

Immigration head Francisco Garduño said that the current administration has put cameras in immigration offices, and they captured some surprising acts., including extortion of migrants by officials.

Slips for appointments at immigration offices were sometimes sold by agency employees when they should have been distributed for free, and some employees demanded bribes to accept visa or other applications. Others recommended informal assistants known as “coyotes” who charge for services rather than helping migrants solve their problems.

Garduño said the problem is being addressed, adding that migrants who come to Mexico by legal routes “deserve all our attentions.”

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