Immigrants from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua processed in record numbers at US borders in 2022

Authorities along the U.S.-Mexico border processed 572,500 Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans in fiscal 2022. That outnumbered the number of immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador who entered U.S. immigration during that period, according to newly released government figures.

Historically, citizens of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, known as the Northern Triangle of Central America, together with Mexican immigrants have made up the bulk of the immigrants processed along the southern border of the United States. But that trend has been reversed over the past year with the arrival of record numbers of people from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and other countries, including Colombia and Haiti.

Dramatic demographic shifts have created significant operational challenges for the Biden administration. On the one hand, authoritarian regimes in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua have severely restricted or denied US deportations of their nationals, while Mexican officials have warned against the return of immigrants from Mexico or outside the Northern Triangle. General refusal to accept.

Immigrants from Venezuela arrive at the Welcome Center in El Paso, Texas, USA on September 22, 2022.

Paul Lachey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

US border officials said there were 220,908 encounters with Cubans, 187,716 with Venezuelans and 163,876 with Nicaraguans in fiscal 2022, the majority of whom were granted asylum. Migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were processed 541,618 times.

Record arrivals of Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans are part of what pushed the total number of migrant encounters along the southern border to about 2.4 million in fiscal year 2022, surpassing the record set in 2021. , CBP figures show.

A significant number of border encounters in past fiscal years involved immigrants who illegally entered the United States multiple times after being deported to Mexico. So 45% led to immigrants being deported under Title 42. Title 42 is a Trump-era pandemic-related order that a federal court has asked officials to continue.

In the early 2000s, when Border Patrol agents had fewer resources and manpower to arrest border crossers, the overall illegal immigrant population, which includes known and estimated numbers of immigrants who entered the United States illegally while evading arrest, increased. it was high. government statistics show.

In a statement on Friday, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus blamed “failed regimes in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua” for sparking “new waves of immigration across the Western Hemisphere.”

In Cuba, dissatisfaction with Havana’s communist regime and economic hardships are fueling the exodus of tens of thousands of Cubans wanting to travel to the United States, but Nicaragua’s decision to allow visa-free travel. Policies have made travel somewhat easier.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s political turmoil and economic collapse has forced seven million Venezuelans to leave the country as part of the largest displacement crisis in the history of the Americas. united nations.

Immigration analysts say the unprecedented immigration arrivals from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are also driven by labor demand in the United States and the knowledge that the United States is struggling to deport immigrants from these countries. He said it was.

In September, a monthly record of 33,804 Venezuelans were detained at the U.S. border was recorded, but U.S. officials have noted a steep drop in illegal immigration by Venezuelan immigrants since the Biden administration. I am recording that. announced A new deterrent earlier this month.

Last week, the Biden administration announced it would begin using Title 42 to deport Venezuelan immigrants to Mexico under an agreement with Mexican authorities. It also revealed a limited legal pathway for up to 24,000 Venezuelans to come to U.S. airports if they do.

An average of 154 Venezuelans have been detained at the U.S. border every day this week, according to government data provided by government officials on Friday, up from 1,131 in the week before the U.S. announced new policies for Venezuelans. 86% reduction from humans.

Officials also said they had recorded an 80% drop in migrants crossing Panama’s Darien Gap.

According to one official, the U.S. is asking Venezuelan migrants from Mexico and Central American countries to “stop and find safer places where they can wait to reconsider their plans to come to the U.S. and apply for the legal process.” , and in some cases, voluntarily returned to where they were.”

The Biden administration has yet to announce an effort to deport Cuban and Nicaraguan immigrants to Mexico or to provide them with a legal path like that provided to some Venezuelans. Administration officials say they may consider expanding the private sponsorship process created for Venezuelans. Immigrants from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua processed in record numbers at US borders in 2022

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