Illegal migration at US-Mexico border peaks

A rise in migration from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua in September brought the number of illegal crossings to the highest level on record in a fiscal year, according to US Customs and Border Protection. United.

The year-end numbers reflect deteriorating economic and political conditions in some countries, the relative strength of the U.S. economy and the uneven enforcement of Trump-era asylum restrictions.

Migrants were stopped 227,547 times in September at the US border with Mexico, the third highest month during Joe Biden’s presidency. This was up 11.5% from 204,087 times in August and 18.5% from 192,001 times in September 2021.

In the fiscal year that ended September 30, migrants were arrested 2.38 million times, up 37% from 1.73 million the previous year, figures show published late Friday evening. The annual total topped 2 million for the first time in August and is more than double the highest level of Donald Trump’s presidency in 2019.

Nearly 78,000 migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua were arrested in September, compared to around 58,000 from Mexico and three northern Central American countries that have historically accounted for most of the flow.

This remarkable geographic shift is at least in part the result of Title 42, a public health measure that suspends asylum seekers’ rights under U.S. and international law under the guise of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Due to strained diplomatic relations, the United States cannot deport migrants to Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua. As a result, they are largely released to the United States to pursue their immigration cases.

Title 42’s authority has been applied 2.4 million times since its launch in March 2020, but it has fallen disproportionately on migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

US officials say Venezuelan migration to the United States has dropped more than 85% since October 12, when the United States began deporting Venezuelans to Mexico under Title 42. Meanwhile, the Biden government has pledged to admit up to 24,000 Venezuelans to the United States on humanitarian release if they apply online with a financial guarantor and enter through an airport, similar to tens of thousands of Ukrainians have come since Russia invaded their country.

The first four Venezuelans paroled in the United States arrived on Saturday — two from Mexico, one from Guatemala, one from Peru — and hundreds more were cleared to fly, the Department of Homeland Security said.

“While this early data is not reflected in the report [de septembre]they confirm what we have always said: when there is a legal and orderly way to enter the country, individuals will be less likely to put their lives in the hands of smugglers and attempt to cross the border illegally,” said said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus.

This expansion of Title 42 to deport Venezuelans to Mexico came despite the administration’s attempt to end the public health authority in May, which was blocked by a federal judge.

Venezuelans are the second most important nationality at the border after Mexicans for the second month in a row. They were checked 33,804 times in September, ie 33% more than the 25,361 times in August.

Cubans, who are part of the largest exodus from the Caribbean island to the United States since 1980, were checked 26,178 times at the border in September, 37% more than the 19,060 times in August .

Nicaraguans were checked 18,199 times in September, up 55% from 7,298 times in August.

The report is the latest monthly reading of migration flows ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, an issue many Republicans have highlighted during campaigns to take control of the House and Senate.

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