Annual U.S. border arrivals top 2 million, fueled by record migration from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua

Migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border reportedly surpassed 2 million in August, a record high, in part due to unprecedented levels of immigration from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. government data Posted on Monday.

Migrants at the U.S. southern border edged up to 203,598 last month, reversing the downtrend; downtrend Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data recorded in the previous two months show.

The figure includes Border Patrol arrests of 181,160 immigrants who entered the United States illegally, almost unchanged from July, and 22,437 immigrants and asylum seekers processed at official ports of entry, a slight increase from the previous month.

With just one month left, CBP officers stationed at the Mexican border have already processed more than 2.1 million migrants in fiscal 2022, a number well above the previous record set in fiscal 2021, when the agency recorded 1.7 million encounter.

However, the 1 million encounters CBP recorded this fiscal year led to the swift deportation of immigrants to northern Mexico or their home countries under Section 42, a coronavirus-era order that prevents access to the U.S. asylum system, CBP statistics show .

Unprecedented encounter statistics are also inflated by the large numbers of immigrants who attempted to enter the United States multiple times and were counted multiple times after deportation to Mexico under Section 42, which, unlike traditional deportation, carries no criminal or immigration penalties.

In August, almost a quarter of immigrant encounters involved individuals who had been apprehended by U.S. border authorities in the past year, CBP said Monday.

Yuma Arizona border crossing
Migrants are processed by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the border from Mexico on August 20, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona.

Qian Weizhong/VCG via Getty Images

One of the main factors driving heightened concerns about immigration over the past year under President Biden has been the arrival of tens of thousands of migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, who have traveled to record numbers at the U.S. border in recent months.

Migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua accounted for more than a third of all border concerns in August. Their arrival is part of a broader and unprecedented rise in immigration from outside Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose citizens made up the vast majority of immigrants processed by U.S. border officials before the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 25,000 Venezuelans entered U.S. border detention facilities 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 homes 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 U.S. have traversed the Darien Canyon in Panama’s roadless jungle in record numbers over the past month, Panamanians government data programme.

In August, CBP officials at the U.S.-Mexico border also handled more than 19,000 Cubans and nearly 12,000 Nicaraguans.

Unlike Mexicans and most Central Americans, the U.S. typically cannot deport Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans to Mexico or their home country because of restrictions imposed by Mexico and diplomatic tensions with authoritarian governments in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua .Because of this, most immigrants from these countries are processed and then released so that they can continue their asylum claims within the United States

The Biden administration has attributed the mass exodus from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the policies of its leftist regime and the harsh economic environment facing many there.

“Failed communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba are driving a new wave of migrants across the Western Hemisphere, including a recent increase in encounters at the U.S. southwestern border,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement Monday. Say.

This year’s unprecedented wave of immigration poses enormous operational and humanitarian challenges to a Biden administration, which took office promising a more humane immigration system, including overturning several Trump-era tough border policies.

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

Record border concerns have also become a political responsibility for the Biden administration, which Republicans in Congress and in governors’ mansions across the country have accused of being too lenient with immigrants entering the country illegally.

Political showdown intensifies this month as Republican governors of Texas and Florida struggle over border policy transport immigrants Certain Democratic-led jurisdictions, including Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and Martha’s Vineyard.

A Venezuelan immigrant is taken to a bus Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown, Massachusetts.

miami herald

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Rob DeSantis, both Republicans, believe that jurisdictions that limit so-called “sanctuary” policies that work with federal deportation agencies are more likely to Ability to accept immigrants. They also said the strategy was aimed at pressuring the government for tougher border policies.

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

One of the reasons for the increase in border clashes in August was the Biden administration’s continued efforts to increase the handling of asylum seekers at ports of entry, which experts believe could deter some migrants from entering the country illegally.

U.S. officials at ports of entry at the southern border admitted 15,906 asylum seekers deemed vulnerable under Section 42 humanitarian immunity in August, a 37 percent increase from July, according to government data shared with federal courts.

Just over 130,000 Border Patrol worried August involved single adult immigrants, half of whom were deported; 39,221 parents and children involved in family travel, most of whom were released on court notice; 11,013 involved unaccompanied minors who were detained, according to CBP Transfer to a government shelter.

While immigration concerns have reached record levels under a Biden administration, illegal border crossings in general higher In the early 2000s, Border Patrol had fewer agents and techniques to apprehend individuals, including those trying to evade detection.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this report stated that CBP recorded more than 2 million arrests at the southern border this fiscal year. CBP has recorded more than 2 million “encounters,” which include Border Patrol arrests and migrants processed at ports of entry.

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