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Mexico Welcomes First Afghan Refugees, Including Journalists

Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban takeover started arriving in Mexicothis week. The country has been able to speed up the usually arduous asylum process in order to offer humanitarian assistance.

On Tuesday night, Mexico welcomed the first arrival of refugees from Afghanistan: five members of the country’s first all-girls robotics team.

Then Wednesday morning, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard greeted 124 media workers and their families at the airport.

"Welcome to Mexico," he said. "You have the sympathy and the support of the Mexican government and the Mexican people."

The group includes journalists who work for The New York Timesand Wall Street Journal.

Ebrard said Mexico’s efforts to circumvent bureaucratic processes to quickly offer humanitarian protection to reporters and their families reflects the country’s commitment to freedom of expression, and a tradition of welcoming those seeking refuge.

But while cheering the decision to accept Afghan refugees, many also point out that Mexico hasn’t similarly welcomed asylum seekers from Central America.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.