Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Migration rates from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua to the US in August Soar

US authorities say the number of Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans detained at the border between the US and Mexico jumped in August. At the same time, migrants from Mexico and other traditional sending countries are stopped by the authorities less often.

US government officials, Monday (19/9), told Associated Press that last August the authorities had stopped migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua 56,000 times, up from 49,826 stops recorded in July and 23,141 in August 2021.

At the same time, fewer migrants from Mexico and Central American “Northern Triangle” countries – namely Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – have been stopped by US authorities in the past three months.

The rising number of migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua is the latest sign of a rapidly changing migration flow, as US authorities struggle to cope with an unusually large inflow.

Although no single reason was considered behind this flow of migrants, the existence of a pandemic-era rule known as “Title 42” made it difficult for the United States to expel migrants from these countries. The United States’ relations with Central American “Northern Triangle” countries are in such a tense situation that it is difficult to repatriate migrants.

Mexico agreed to take in migrants expelled under the “Title 42” rule if they were from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – in addition to Mexico. Although in theory, the rule applies to everyone, but the citizens of these four countries are the most affected.

President Joe Biden’s administration has leaned on other countries in America to accommodate more people fleeing their homes, including Mexico and Costa Rica which is home to many Nicaraguans. Also Colombia has hosted millions of Venezuelans in recent years.

Migration rates for Venezuelans plummeted earlier this year after Mexico imposed air travel restrictions, but have rebounded in recent months as more and more people come through Panama’s notorious Darien Gap region.

In July, there were 17,651 stops of Venezuelan migrants at the US-Mexico border, most of them in and around the Eagle Pass and Del Rio areas in Texas.

Their presence made headlines when about 50 Venezuelan migrants were flown by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to Martha’s Vineyard, an island frequented by upper-class Americans in Massachusetts.

US authorities found six bodies in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass over Labor Day weekend, of which five were Venezuelans, while one was from Nicaragua. [em/jm]

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