Illegal Detention at AICM Amplifies INM’s Human Rights Woes
By KELIN DILLON
According to a new review conducted by Mexico’s Internal Control Body (OIC) surrounding the National Institute of Migration’s (INM) operations at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM), the INM’s current immigration scheme at the AICM has resulted in the illegal detention of passengers and possible human rights violations, only adding to the aeronautic facility’s slew of ongoing problems and mounting public backlash against the INM’s poor operational standards.
As OIC staffers conducted its review of the INM’s Annual Inspection Plan at the AICM, the investigating personnel reportedly discovered repeated issues of non-compliance of Mexico’s Migration Law Regulations across the airport’s migrational operations in both Terminals 1 and 2.
The OIC findings revealed that passengers who arrived at the AICM with scheduled connecting flights or without a visa were shuttled to a room without access to their cellphones or contact to the outside world, as well as no accessible food, which could be considered as human rights violations.
“From the physical visit made to the INM facilities in Terminals 1 and 2 of the AICM, it was found that passengers who are in transit to another international flight or those who do not have the corresponding visa are channeled to the room used for the rejection of women and children, which can violate their rights since the people admitted to said room have their cell phones withheld without consent for control, with which passengers in transit or without a visa are unduly incommunicado,” read the OIC’s inspection results.
“This is added to the fact that in said detention room, they cannot buy food, in breach of articles 38, section III, and 74 of the Migration Law Regulations and the Operation Protocol for the admission to Mexico in places destined for the international transit of people,” continued the report.
While the OIC’s preliminary findings were supposedly reported to the AICM’s INM staffers for correction, a purported lack of documentation forced the hand of the Secretariat of Public Function (SFP) – which presides over the OIC – to order the INM to open a new area for passengers with connecting flights or without corresponding visas separate from passengers requiring a secondary review, “thus avoiding a possible violation of their human rights.”
The investigation also discovered instances of some foreign passengers being held by the INM for more than four hours, and in some cases more than 12 hours, both timelines that violate the maximum time limit for review as established by article 62 of the Migration Law Regulations, an offense that was submitted with documentation by the OIC via letter INM/ORCDMX/SRFAICM/0281/2023 on Feb. 2.
Likewise, the waiting rooms for passengers rejected by the INM were found to be plagued by additional issues, including “no sanitary conditions” at Terminal 2’s men’s room and “poor conditions” across the immigration facility’s infrastructure, such as “cracks in the ceiling, exposed cables and detachment of drywall, for which reason there are no adequate spaces for the temporary stay of these people while their entry is authorized, or the rejection of foreigners is resolved.”