Migrants sew mouths shut in bid to gain passage to US through Mexico

Migrants attempting to cross through Mexico and into the United States are amping up their protests against Mexican authorities who refuse to let them through.

A dozen such migrants sewed their lips shut on Tuesday in protest of their treatment by Mexican migratory officials, Reuters reported.

A majority of migrants crossing through Mexico come from South and Central America, although many started their treks in the Caribbean or in farther away regions on other continents.

The Mexican government has significantly increased its capacity to process asylum applications, but at the same time, it has stepped up enforcement measures to stop migrants before they reach the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexican authorities condemned the protest, which they dismissed in a statement, blaming “those who call themselves [the migrants’] representatives” for inciting the lip-sewing action.

“The National Migration Institute (INM) of the Secretariat of the Interior reproaches violations against the physical and psychological integrity of migrant persons by exposing them to senseless actions, like the self harm they inflicted today by sewing or stitching their lips,” read the statement. 

According to the Reuters report, activists said the protest was meant to humanize the migrants in the eyes of INM. 

“The migrants are sewing their lips together as a sign of protest,” activist Irineo Mujica told the news agency. “We hope that the National Migration Institute can see that they are bleeding, that they are human beings.”

Tags Immigration lip sewing U.S.-Mexico border

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