INM detains legal Expats at checkpoints if they don’t have original documents
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic, JAL. Spencer McMullin of Spencer’s Office S.C. Abogados posted a warning that INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración). was setting up checkpoints throughout Mexico to confirm Expat’s residency status. According to the post, immigration has changed its policy and is now detaining non-Mexicans legally in the country who are not carrying their original immigration or residency documents on them.
This is apparently in response to INM’s analysis that many people are here with expired tourist cards and not returned home prior to their expiration due to Covid travel restrictions. So far no checkpoints have been seen in Lakeside, but reports have been posted in Facebook groups that cars have been stopped on the way back from Guadalajara through Jocotepec.
The post warns that if your papers have expired you should stay home and if you are legal you should always carry your original documents such as your Temporal, your Permanente or a valid visa, especially if you are traveling to the beach. This may confuse some people who have obtained certified copies of their immigration cards and carry them for safety. The advice is to carry the original and save the copies at home.
Laguna verified the post with Spencer by chat through his office, receiving a message that some Expats have been detained, although it is unknown if it was either through errors or by inexperienced people. Other posts on social media have verified the problem. As of Wednesday May 19, the INS website section covering immigration documents for non-Mexicans was not loading, although various posts on social media claimed they were able to verify the policy with INS.