Sunday, June 13, 2021

From India, Brazil and beyond: Pandemic refugees at the border

The increase in Arizona has forced Governor Doug Ducey to declare a state of emergency in several provinces last month and deploy the national guard along the border. Republican lawmakers have sharply criticized the inclusion of tens of thousands of young migrants, along with a large number of families, who would be turned back under the Trump administration. Even Senator Mark Kelly, a Democrat, recently criticized President Biden for not addressing “the immediate crisis at the border.”

During a single weekend in early May, agents in the Yuma area intercepted 1,600 migrants.

“So many people around the world have seen their living standards slide backwards, so it’s no surprise that they’d take the chance to come to the US if they heard that others had successfully migrated from Mexico,” Andrew said. Selee, president of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute.

“I saw the same dynamics in 2019,” he said. “But it was on a much smaller scale.”

Although most migrants do not necessarily understand the complexities of U.S. border policy, many have said in interviews that they consider a limited time to enter the United States. Friends and family members who are already in the country, along with smugglers eager to make money, have assured them that they will not be turned down – and it turns out to be true.

“What we hear at home is that the new president is facilitating access, and that there is a demand for labor,” said Rodrigo Neto, who came from Brazil, where the pandemic killed his business and overwhelmed him with debt. “I could not pass up this opportunity.”

Mr. Neto, 55, closed his electrical store, sold his car and collected his savings to pay for the trip.

Like many people from Brazil and other countries plagued by the pandemic, he could not get a visa to enter the United States. Instead, he flies from São Paulo to Mexico City and then to Tijuana, where a driver working for a smuggling network meets his group. They were then taken to the side of the road in Algodones, Mexico, across the Arizona border, where they were deposited one recent morning.

From there, it only took ten minutes to reach County Road 8, where a border patrol agent was standing near an opening in the wall.

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