Migrants from around the world cross the southern border in record numbers | New

Migration to the southern border of the United States from distant countries increased in 2021 as economic turmoil and relaxed immigration policies of the Biden administration prompted crowds of other continents to cross into America. .

The number of people encountered at the southern border from countries other than Mexico or the three main countries of origin in Central America was seven times higher in the past 12 months ending in September than in the previous year, based on US Customs and Border Protection data. . One in five, or 378,000 of the 1.7 million, who were encountered at the southern border during the government’s 2021 fiscal year were from countries other than these four.

The biggest change in 2021 has been the increase in arrivals from South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In 2000, 97% of the migrants encountered by the border patrol were Mexican citizens. In 2014, more people apprehended at the southern border came from the Northern Triangle – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – than from Mexico, according to the data. In 2019, nearly two-thirds of people encountered at the border were from one of the three countries of the Northern Triangle.

In 2021, more than 4,100 Russians were met compared to less than 500 the previous year. Arrests increased further in October, with more than 1,500 Russian citizens apprehended.

More than 48,000 Venezuelans were intercepted at the border in 2021, compared to less than 2,800 in 2020.

While the border patrol has historically encountered a small number of people from over 100 countries each year, the number of some of those countries is increasing dramatically, as is the number of countries. Border patrol officers in Del Rio, Texas this week announced the arrests of people around the world, including Eritrea, Uzbekistan, Syria and Lebanon.

THE TEXAS AUTHORITIES apprehended 165,000 people at the border under state effort

The United Nations International Organization for Migration’s Global Migration Report released on Wednesday concluded that the United States is the top destination for migrants around the world for several reasons.

The people of Latin America, which includes Central and South America, have been hit harder economically than any other region, according to Michael Clemens, director of migration, displacement and humanitarian policy at the Center for Global Development, based in Washington. While the coronavirus pandemic has eroded 2% of the economy of developing countries, it wiped out 7% of the entire Latin American economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“This has resulted in soaring unemployment and economic anxiety across the region, amid a searing demand for certain types of labor in the United States,” Clemens wrote in an e- mail. “This partly explains the migratory pressure from several parts of the hemisphere.”

“This pressure has particularly affected people in Latin America who are already migrants from other countries in the region,” Clemens said. “In very difficult economic times, countries often restrict migrants’ access to legal residency, jobs and benefits. Countries in Latin America did so with migrants from Haiti, who had spread across the region years before the pandemic, pushing them north.

How migrants arrive at the southern border

IOM reported in November that the pandemic had caused a sharp increase in the number of migrants transiting from South America to North America via a strait known as the Darien Gap, which connects Colombia to Panama. People who live in South America or who fly to the mainland from the eastern hemisphere have increasingly started to trek through the jungle to reach Mexico.

More than 125,000 migrants have passed through the Darien Gap in the past year, more than the entire 2010-2020 decade combined. More than half were Haitians. At the southern border of the United States, more than 45,000 Haitians have crossed the border illegally, ten times more than the previous year. Three-quarters of Haitians entered the United States near Del Rio, Texas, where tens of thousands of people crossed in days in September and established an encampment under an international bridge.

The United Nations has discovered that migrants from the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and the Americas have been crossing the Darien Gap for a decade, but many more are arriving due to the pandemic wreaking havoc in their countries of ‘origin.

Other migrants have chosen to fly directly from their home country to Mexico because the Mexican government does not require visas for dozens of countries whose citizens stay for up to 180 days.

“They seem to come primarily to take advantage of a better economic situation in the United States,” said retired federal immigration judge Andrew Arthur.

“Some potential migrants choose the United States for economic reasons. There is currently a very high demand for certain types of labor in the United States, at a time when jobs remain empty in several key countries in America. Latin, ”Clemens wrote. “This push and pull, in the presence of extremely restricted channels for regular migration, is a recipe for strong pressure of irregular migration.”

Arthur pointed out that the management of the border by the Biden administration over the past 11 months was another main reason people around the world have chosen to migrate to the United States.

“People see this as the time to come to the United States,” said Arthur, resident researcher in law and politics for the Conservative Center for Immigration Studies. “The Biden administration overturned a lot of President Trump’s policies.… They really didn’t substitute them for those that would prevent people from coming to the United States.”

For example, the Biden administration rolled back the Trump administration’s migrant protection protocols known as the Remain in Mexico program. Under the program, asylum seekers who crossed the border illegally or presented themselves at a port of entry are expected to stay outside the United States for months while their claims are processed. The program was rolled out to deter people who would otherwise apply for asylum and be released in the United States. through a process that will stand in court.

The fact that half a million people who have illegally crossed the border in the past year have been released into the country also explains why so many are coming, Arthur said, referring to figures the Secretary of State for Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas shared during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. in November.


With the influx of people from all over the world and the emergence of the omicron variant, retired U.S. Border Patrol Chief of Staff Salvador Zamora was suspicious of the U.S. ability to manage both.

“There are no new measures in place that have stemmed the flow of people to the United States,” Zamora said. “When you have a large number of people migrating from Africa or Europe to Central and South America in Mexico and then placed in the care of border patrol personnel with no slowing down effort in sight, this is of great concern. . “

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