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Annual arrivals at the US border top 2 million, fueled by record migration from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua


Migrant bus sparks debate


Migrant bus sparks debate amid record apprehensions

01:44

The number of migrant arrivals reported along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022 surpassed 2 million in August, an all-time high due in part to unprecedented levels of migration from Cuba, the Venezuela and Nicaragua, according to government data released Monday.

Migrant encounters along the US southern border rose slightly to 203,598 last month, reversing a downward trend recorded in the previous two months, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

The number included 181,160 Border Patrol arrests of migrants who entered the United States illegally, virtually the same level as in July, as well as 22,437 migrants and asylum seekers processed at official ports of entry, a slight increase from compared to the previous month.

With a month to go, CBP officials stationed along the Mexican border processed migrants more than 2.1 million times in fiscal year 2022, a tally well above the previous record set in 2022. fiscal year 2021, when the agency recorded 1.7 million encounters with migrants.

However, one million of the encounters recorded by CBP this fiscal year resulted in the rapid deportation of migrants to northern Mexico or their home countries under Title 42, a coronavirus-era order that blocks access to the US asylum system, according to CBP statistics. .

The unprecedented number of encounters was also inflated by a significant number of migrants trying to enter the United States multiple times – and being counted multiple times – after their deportation to Mexico under Title 42, which does not include criminal or immigration penalties, unlike traditional deportations.

In August, nearly a quarter of all encounters with migrants involved people who had already been apprehended by U.S. border officials in the past year, CBP said Monday.

Annual arrivals at the US border top 2 million, fueled by record migration from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua
Immigrants are processed by US Border Patrol after crossing the border from Mexico August 20, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona.

Qian Weizhong/VCG via Getty Images


One of the main factors that has fueled the high levels of migrant arrests over the past year under President Biden is the arrival of tens of thousands of migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, who have arrived at the US border in record numbers in recent months.

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

More than 25,000 Venezuelans entered U.S. police custody in August, a monthly record, making Venezuela the second-largest source of migrants to the southern border, behind Mexico.

Nearly 7 million Venezuelans have fled their homeland in the largest displacement crisis in the Western Hemisphere, according to the United Nations. While many have settled in other South American countries like Colombia, Venezuelans hoping to reach the United States have crossed the Darien Gap, Panama’s roadless jungle, in record numbers over the past month. according to data from the Panamanian government.

CBP officials along the US-Mexico border also treated more than 19,000 Cubans and nearly 12,000 Nicaraguans in August.

Unlike Mexicans and most Central Americans, the United States generally cannot deport Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans to Mexico or their home countries due to Mexican-imposed limits and strained diplomatic relations with the authoritarian governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. For this reason, most migrants from these countries are processed and then released so that they can pursue their asylum claims inside the United States.

The Biden administration has blamed the mass exodus from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua on the policies of their leftist regimes and the dire economic circumstances facing many people there.

“Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration in the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwestern border of the United States,” the commissioner of the United States said Monday. CBP, Chris Magnus, in a statement.

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

In El Paso, Texas, for example, US border officials were recently forced to release hundreds of migrants into the city because its facilities had run out of capacity.

Record levels of border apprehensions have also become a political liability for the Biden administration, with Republicans in Congress and at governors’ mansions across the country accusing him of being too soft on migrants who illegally enter the country. country.

Political confrontation over border policy has intensified this month due to efforts by Republican governors of Texas and Florida to transport migrants to select Democratic-led jurisdictions, including Washington, DC, New York, Chicago and Martha’s Vineyard.

Annual arrivals at the US border top 2 million, fueled by record migration from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua
A Venezuelan migrant is driven on a bus to St. Andrews Episcopal Church Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Edgartown, Mass., on the island of Marthaâs Vineyard.

Miami Herald


Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Rob DeSantis, both Republicans, argued that jurisdictions with so-called “sanctuary” policies that limit cooperation with federal deportation officers are better equipped to accommodate immigrants. They also said the tactic was designed to pressure the administration into adopting tougher border policies.

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

One of the reasons border encounters increased in August was the Biden administration’s continued efforts to increase processing of asylum seekers at ports of entry, which experts say is deterring some migrants. to enter the country illegally.

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

Just over 130,000 border patrol arrests in August involved single adult migrants, half of whom were deported; 39,221 involved parents and children traveling as families, most of whom are released with court notice; and 11,013 were unaccompanied minors, who are being transferred to government shelters, according to CBP data.

As migrant arrests hit record highs under Biden, illegal border crossings overall were higher in the early 2000s, when Border Patrol had fewer officers and fewer technologies to apprehend individuals, including those seeking to evade detection.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this report indicated that CBP recorded more than 2 million arrests along the southern border during this fiscal year. CBP has recorded more than 2 million “encounters,” which include Border Patrol apprehensions, as well as migrants processed at ports of entry.


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