- BBC News World
More than two million migrants have been apprehended at the US-Mexico border in the past year, a political concern for the Biden administration.
According to new figures from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the number of 2.15 million apprehensions represents a 24% increase from the previous year.
Statistics show that the number of migrants from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba has increased dramatically, while those from Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – have decreased.
In a statement, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus called the “new wave of migration” across the border from “failed communist regimes.”
Experts point to other reasons that could explain the increase, including the high number of frequent crossings and persistent economic problems related to the epidemic in Latin America.
The growing number of immigrants at the border has become a contentious issue in American politics just ahead of midterm elections in November.
The opposition has criticized President Joe Biden and other Democrats for the increase, while tensions are rising between the White House and some Republican state governments over busing or flying immigrants to Democratic-held areas. , New York and Washington DC etc
Why is the registration number reached?
The number of immigrants arriving at the border increased dramatically after Biden took office in late January 2021.
Experts point to several reasons, including environmental disasters and economic problems in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. In other cases – such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela – economic problems have been exacerbated by political repression.
“There’s a level of desperation that we haven’t seen before,” said Adam Isaacson, a migration and border expert at the Washington Office on Latin America. Traffickers take advantage of that.”
Many of the immigrants are now seeking asylum, which has been severely restricted by the Donald Trump administration.
Where do immigrants come from?
Immigrants from Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle continue to make up the bulk of the total, with Mexicans alone accounting for about 744,000 apprehensions in the past year.
However, CBP’s August statistics show changes in migration patterns. Compared to August 2021, the number of Mexicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans decreased by 43%. During the same period, the number of Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans increased by 175%.
Together these three nationalities account for around 494,000 migrant apprehensions this year.
Ariel Ruiz, a policy expert at the Washington, DC-based Migration Policy Institute, noted that connections between these countries also contribute to the increase.
Cuba, for example, has lost aid it received from Venezuela before the pandemic, adding to its economic woes.
Nicaragua’s decision last year to eliminate visa requirements for Cubans means they now have a starting point to begin their journey from Central America to the United States.
They cannot be sent back to their home countries because the United States does not have diplomatic relations with these countries.
For his part, Biden has said it is “not rational” to send migrants back to Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua, and that he is working with Mexico and other countries to “stop the flow.”
The Trump policy is still in place
Since taking office, Biden has upheld a controversial Trump-era policy that allows authorities to automatically deport undocumented immigrants who seek to enter the country without enforcing the laws and protections normally available to immigrants.
Policy, known as Title 42The first was intended to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in migrant detention facilities.
On Monday, CBP said, “The high number of removals during the pandemic has contributed to the increase in the number of migrants attempting to cross the border.”
Isaacson said the policy leads to statistical “distortions”.
Biden has a headache
The growing number of immigrants represents a growing political problem for the Biden administration, especially in the midterm elections.
Three Republican-controlled states — Texas, Arizona and Florida — have announced initiatives to move immigrants to Democratic-led states, sometimes leaving them in upscale locations such as posh Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts or near Wise’s residence. President Kamala Harris in Washington.
Officials in these states have argued that the tactic is meant to mitigate the impact of migration flows on local communities.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for example, began bringing immigrants to Massachusetts in early September, saying “by the time they get to their front door even a small fraction of what those border towns face every day, they [los demócratas] Sudden insanity for them.
The issue of migrants at the border will have an impact on the elections. For example, a recent poll by American public radio NPR found that immigration is the top election issue after inflation for 20% of Republican voters, compared to 1% of Democrats.
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