Mexican Interior Minister Olga Sanchez has admitted that corruption is rife within the National Immigration Institute (INM) and that a “complete overhaul” of the federal institution is required.
At a press conference this week, Sanchez said investigations carried out since she took office in December have identified the routine extortion of foreigners entering the country, many of whom are charged illegal cuotas, based on a sliding scale, known as a tabulador.
“There are different fees if you are Venezuelan, or Indian or Chinese, depending on your nationality,” she said.
In addition, a recent audit by the federal Comptrollers Office (Auditoria Superior de la Federation or ASF) indicates that the entry points on the southern Mexican border are virtually “unregulated,” lacking any controls over the entry of persons, drugs or illegal merchandise. Legal norms are disregarded and immigration agents carry out their labors in a totally “discretionary” and”irregular” manner, the ASF noted.
Sanchez said she intends to correct the “legal and administrative vacuums” identified in the INM.