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Mexico issuing transit visas to African migrants flocking to U.S.-Mexico border

DADAAB, KENYA - JULY 23:  Somalian refugees wait at the entrance to the registration area of the IFO refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

DADAAB, KENYA - JULY 23: Somalian refugees wait at the entrance to the registration area of the IFO refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)  (2011 Getty Images)

Mexican immigration authorities say 424 migrants from African countries arrived at the southern state of Chiapas over two days last week.

The National Immigration Institute said Tuesday that it has issued them 20-day transit visas that will allow the migrants to reach the U.S.-Mexico border, where they plan to request asylum.

Officials call it an unusual surge and say most of the migrants first went to Brazil or Ecuador to start their journey through Latin America.

Most of the Africans presented themselves voluntarily to immigration officials in the Chiapas town of Tapachula. They did not specify their nationalities.

Immigration support staff in Tijuana has been aiding migrants from the Congo, Somalia and Ghana to arrive at the U.S. port of entry at San Isidro.

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