Illegal migration to the United States in May breaks all records again | International

Migrants meet with members of the Border Patrol after entering Roma, Texas, on June 13.
Migrants meet with members of the Border Patrol after entering Roma, Texas, on June 13.ADREES LATIF (REUTERS)

Mayo has once again broken all immigration records in the United States. Authorities reported that 239,000 encounters were recorded last month on the border with Mexico, the hot spot of the immigration crisis facing the Joe Biden government. The figure represents an increase of 2% compared to April, a rise fueled by the arrival of immigrants from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, as well as Russians and Ukrainians, who have been affected by the war started by Vladimir Putin in Eastern Europe. The figure exceeds the historical maximum of arrests made in March 2000, with 220,000.

Border Patrol authorities apprehended 177,000 people along the line, 15% more than the apprehensions made in April. More than 60,000 people attempted to make more than one crossing during the period. A health regulation imposed by the United States, known as Title 42, allows migrants to be quickly expelled at the border. According to the Government, this tool would also be responsible for the record numbers that are registered. “The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a higher than usual number of migrants attempting multiple crossings,” Customs and Border Protection said Wednesday.

Chris Magnus, the commissioner in charge of the border, has pointed out that the Biden Administration has made few adjustments since the crisis broke out, which is used as an electoral trick by Republicans. “The current restrictions have not changed: single adults and families found on the southern border continue to be expelled,” the official said.

In May, illegal crossings pick up. Magnus has issued an alert to those who plan to make the crossing in an area hit by drought and high temperatures. “The territory is extreme, the summer heat wave is severe and the kilometers of desert that migrants must cross after crossing the border are unforgiving. Our message to those who want to try to enter the United States illegally is the same: do not take a dangerous path only to be sent back,” Magnus said in a memo. issued this wednesday.

The number of unaccompanied migrant children fell 21% last month, with 14,699 encounters in May compared to 12,180 in April. The crossing of complete families, on the other hand, grew by 8%, with 55,000. This number has been decreasing for nine months at a sustained rate. In August of last year there were 86,000 family meetings.

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Adults crossing alone make up the largest traffic on the US-Mexico border. 25% of the 239,000 migrants who crossed had at least one previous attempt made in the last 12 months, according to official numbers. 42% of the total was expelled thanks to the controversial Title 42, an instrument that the Joe Biden government has tried to lift, but whose end is in the hands of a tough legal fight promoted by several conservative states, critical of Biden’s immigration policy .

A family of Central American migrants, after being detained after crossing the border in Roma, Texas.
A family of Central American migrants, after being detained after crossing the border in Roma, Texas.ADREES LATIF (REUTERS)

At the end of April, the Secretary of Internal Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, warned of the moment which crosses the border. The minister assured that there are currently more displaced people in the world than at any other time after the Second World War. This has led to Border Patrol agents apprehending, on average, about 7,700 people each day. Before the pandemic, the average was 1,600 migrants.

Mayorkas also spoke about the change in migratory flows that they have noticed in recent months. “Migrants from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua have grown steadily and represent 37% of income in fiscal year 2022 [de octubre de 2021 a octubre de 2022] among non-Mexicans,” he says. In the five years from 2014-2019 these nationalities represented 8%. In May, authorities detained 18,900 Nicaraguans, a record number that doubles the number of Salvadorans who tried to cross into the country. Last month also saw a 45% increase in the number of Colombians detained, with 19,000 migrants. In May 2021, on the other hand, just over 400 people of this nationality were detained.

The war in Ukraine has also led hundreds of Ukrainians and Russians to seek entry to the United States via Mexico, which has forced the Biden administration to implement a program that allows them to start the legal migration process before leaving Europe. This is intended to discourage the number of Ukrainians in Mexican border cities, which already register saturation in the camps made up of Central Americans and Haitians.

The May numbers were released just five days after leaders from 20 countries in the Americas signed a Regional Declaration on Migration in Los Angeles. With the document, the countries promise to coordinate their efforts to deal with a situation that has affected many nations on the continent. In the area there are more than six million Venezuelans who have left their country, making it the second worst displacement crisis in the world. 80% of this diaspora is spread over 17 Latin American countries, mainly in Colombia, which has 1.8 million Venezuelans, and Peru, with 1.3 million. Costa Rica, with a population of five million people, has been chosen as the new home for 150,000 Nicaraguans who have abandoned the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega.

The signed document offers more opportunities to migrate illegally to other countries and reinforces border surveillance to speed up the return of all those who do not qualify as refugees. The document is based on a “shared responsibility” that urges nations to do their part. This is intended to reduce the number of people who undertake the journey to the United States. The American countries have ceased to be expelling countries to also become a destination for immigrants.

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