Long-Distance Migrants Hit High Water Mark at Southern Border … With More to Come
Amid the crush of 2.7 million migrants entering the U.S. in fiscal 2022, nations beyond Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle accounted for nearly half the traffic – 43 percent versus just 4 percent five years ago.
But wait, there’s more. Record flows of extra-continental aliens through the Darien Gap jungle that connects Colombia to Panama signal even bigger increases from across the globe.
For the first time in history, more Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans (571,159) were encountered at the southern border during FY 2022 than migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras (520,602), according to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).
The year also saw significant arrivals of Brazilians, Ecuadorians, Haitians and from countries farther afield, including Ukraine, India and Turkey.
“Without a doubt, these arrivals have overwhelmed processing capacities, federal infrastructure and border communities,” stated MPI, a Washington, D.C., policy shop that favors more expansive immigration.
Making matters worse, expulsions under Title 42 are down. Forty-five percent of migrant encounters at the border in FY 2022 were subject to removal under the public health code, compared with 61 percent the prior year. Meantime, a surging recidivism rate (repeated illegal entries) now stands at 26 percent — up from 7 percent in FY 2019.
MPI says a lack of U.S. repatriation agreements and strained diplomatic ties with Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua all but ensure more arrivals. Even Mexico, on better terms with those nations, isn’t holding the line. Mexico’s implementation of visa requirements for Venezuelans last January briefly decreased air arrivals but illegal flows via land rose steadily after May, MPI reported.
Beyond obvious national sovereignty and security concerns, ever-lengthening transcontinental treks expose migrants to greater risk of depredation and death en route. The Center for Immigration Studies has chronicled some of the suffering, laying much of the blame on the Biden administration’s feckless immigration policies.
As even larger influxes of global migrants come to pass (Biden’s inept/non-existent enforcement program gives no reason to suggest otherwise), Americans may look back on 2022 as the good old days.