October 4, 2022
Record migration from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua hits annual US border top 2 million

The number of reported migrant arrivals at the US-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022 surpassed 2 million in August, an all-time high driven by unprecedented levels of migration from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. government data Published on Monday.

Migrant encounters on the US southern border rose slightly last month to 203,598, downward trend Shows Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data entered over the past two months.

The number included 181,160 Border Patrol apprehensions of migrants entering the US illegally, virtually the same level as in July, as well as 22,437 migrants and asylum seekers processed at official ports of entry, up from the previous month. There was a slight increase.

With a month remaining, CBP officers stationed at the Mexican border processed migrants more than 2.1 million times in fiscal year 2022, significantly higher than the previous record set in fiscal year 2021, when the agency reported 1.7 million migrant encounters. was registered.

As a result of the one million encounters recorded by CBP this fiscal year, migrants have been swiftly expelled to northern Mexico or their home country under Title 42, a coronavirus-era order that blocks access to the US asylum system. does, CBP figures show .

An unprecedented number of encounters have also been reported by large numbers of immigrants trying to enter the US – and counting many times – following their expulsion to Mexico under Title 42, which, unlike traditional deportation, carries criminal or immigration penalties. does not take

CBP said on Monday that in August, nearly a quarter of all migrant encounters involved individuals previously captured by US border officials in the past year.

Yuma Arizona Border Crossing
Immigrants are processed by the US Border Patrol after they cross the border with Mexico in Yuma, Arizona, on August 20, 2022.

Qian Weizhong / VCG via Getty Images

One of the main factors fueling the high levels of migrant fears over the past year under President Biden is the arrival of thousands of migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, who have traveled to the US border in record numbers in recent months.

In August, migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua made up more than a third of all border fears. Their arrival is part of a broader, unprecedented increase in migration from outside Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose citizens accounted for the vast majority of migrants processed by US border officials before the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 25,000 Venezuelans entered US border detention in August, a monthly record, making Venezuela the second largest source of migrants on the southern border after Mexico.

Nearly 7 million Venezuelans have fled their homeland as part of the largest displacement crisis in the Western Hemisphere United Nations, While many have settled in other South American countries such as Colombia, Venezuelans hoping to reach the Americas have been crossing the Darien Gap, the roadless wilderness of Panama, in record numbers over the past month. government data performance.

CBP officers on the US-Mexico border also processed more than 19,000 Cubans and about 12,000 Nicaraguas in August.

Unlike Mexico and most Central Americans, due to the borders set by Mexico and strained diplomatic relations with authoritarian governments in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, the US usually does not send Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua to Mexico or their home countries. could. Because of this, most migrants from these countries are processed and then released so that they can continue their asylum cases inside the US.

The Biden administration has attributed the mass exodus from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the policies of his leftist regime and the dire economic conditions faced by many there.

“The failed communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration to the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters along the southwest US border,” CBP commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement on Monday.

This year’s unprecedented migration wave has created formidable operational and humanitarian challenges for the Biden administration, which came into office promising to create a more humane immigration system, including reversing many of the harsh border policies of the Trump-era.

For example, in El Paso, Texas, US border officials have recently been forced to drop hundreds of migrants into the city after the holding capacity at its facilities ran out.

The record level of border fears has also become a political liability for the Biden administration, with Republicans in Congress and governors across the country accusing the mansions of being too liberal on migrants entering the country illegally.

Political demonstrations over border policy have intensified this month as efforts by Republican governors in Texas and Florida transport migrant In some Democratic-led jurisdictions, including Washington, DC, New York, Chicago and Martha’s Vineyard.

A Venezuelan migrant is carried on a bus at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on Marthas Vineyard Island, Friday, September 16, 2022.

Miami Herald

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Rob DeSantis, both Republicans, have argued that jurisdictions with so-called “sanctuary” policies that limit cooperation with federal deportation agents are better equipped to receive migrants. . He has also said that the strategy is designed to put pressure on the administration to implement strict border policies.

But the Biden administration and Democrats have condemned the migrant transportation plan as dehumanizing, saying Republican-led states are dehumanizing asylum seekers for political gain.

One of the reasons for increased border encounters in August was the Biden administration’s continued effort to increase the processing of asylum seekers at ports of entry, which experts believe are driving some migrants into the country illegally. prevents entry.

In August, US officials at ports of entry along the southern border deemed 15,906 asylum seekers vulnerable under the humanitarian exemption to Title 42, a 37% jump from July, according to government data shared with the federal court.

Border Patrol fears just over 130,000 August included single adult migrants, half of whom were expelled; 39,221 included children traveling as parents and family, most of whom were released with court notices; And 11,013 alone included minors who were shifted to government shelters, according to CBP data.

While migrant fears have reached record levels under Biden, illegal border crossings overall were up In the early 2000s, when the Border Patrol had fewer agents and technology to apprehend individuals, including those trying to evade identification.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this report stated that CBP has made more than two million arrests on the southern border this fiscal year. CBP has recorded more than 2 million “encounters”, including border patrol apprehensions, as well as migrants processed at ports of entry.

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