Two tourists were detained at a military checkpoint on the Tulum-Playa del Carmen highway. Neither of the two were able to provide evidence that they were staying in the country legally. Once that was established, the two were taken aboard a van belonging to the national immigration institute, and driven to Cancun where they are awaiting a potential deportation trial.
The tourists have been identified as a French woman and an Italian man, according to initial reports the two were not traveling together. At least one of them was detained for a longer period of time at the checkpoint until the van arrived to take the two to Cancun.
What The Process Looks Like For The Two Tourists Moving Forward
There are a couple of rules that foreigners must follow while in Mexico that have been established for many years. However, the presence of military checkpoints has essentially brought these laws and regulations to the forefront in a way that they maybe weren’t before. According to a recent memo published by the US Embassy these are the guidelines that tourists must follow while on Mexican soil.
“When traveling in Mexico, the law requires that foreign visitors carry a passport and entry permit. You may be asked to present these documents at any point. If you do not present these documents, immigration authorities may lawfully detain you for up to 60 days while they review your immigration status.”
While these two tourists were not American the law applies to them in the same manner as foreign nationals in Mexico. As the memo dictates, these two tourists are going to be in the custody of Mexican immigration authorities for the time being. In which time the authorities will try to clarify their current immigration status. If it is in fact proven that these two foreing citizens don’t have the right documentation to remain in the country they will likely be deported back to their home countries.
The Presence Of The Checkpoints Means That The Law Is Being Enforced
Military checkpoints have been set up throughout some of the main roads that connect the Riviera Maya region to increase the safety of the travelers that use them. Some of the recent drug busts in the region have precisely taken place within these checkpoints. In the case of the French woman and the Italian man they were not detained by a checkpoint that was run by immigration. According to reports, and pictures of the incident the spot was manned by local police, and members of the national guard.
Even though the main goal for the presence of law enforcement in these spots is not to catch illegal residents, if someone is unable to provide the necessary documentation authorities are obligated to detain them. More proof of the fact that the checkpoint was not run by immigration is that agents had to arrive with a van to be able to retrieve these tourists from the area and take them to their main offices in Cancun. Currently, these two travelers are not being held up in a Cancun jail, instead they remain in custody at the previously mentioned main offices of the immigration institute.
Recommendations For Tourists Visiting Mexico
The reason why it’s looking like the checkpoints are making authorities enforce this law is because for the most part local police on beaches or main tourist spots in Cancun are not going to be stopping people out of the blue, and asking them to provide proof that they are staying in the country legally. With the presence of these checkpoints on highways, and sometimes even local streets the need to carry your passport, and your entry permit as a foreign national is real. While authorities may be more lenient in beaches, and popular tourist spots as we mentioned, it’s still recommendable that foreign nationals keep their passport and entry form on hand at all times.
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Friday 1st of July 2022
What about all the illegals coming from central and south America, what a a joke.