EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The Mexican government is reporting a sizeable increase in migrants coming from African countries.

A total of 3,346 citizens of Senegal, Angola, Congo, Ghana and neighboring countries requested humanitarian visas in Mexico during the first six months of 2022, compared to 1,901 requests in all of 2021, said Andres Ramirez, director of Mexico’s Refugee Commission, or COMAR.

In addition to those lawfully seeking refuge, the Mexican immigration enforcement agency, INM, has detained 1,436 African migrants who were either coming with smugglers or trying to avoid detection, Ramirez said. Of those, 348 were minors or family units and routed to the Children’s and Families Development agency, or DIF, he said on social media posts.

More than 58,000 migrants have declared themselves as refugees in Mexico in 2022; Mexican authorities came in contact with 73% of them in the southern state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, Ramirez tweeted.