U.S. Custom and Border Protection officials said they have seen a surge in the number of undocumented immigrants they have encountered from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua recently.
In data released by the agency on Monday, CBP said encounters from these three nations were up 175% in August 2022 compared to August 2021. During that same time span, CBP said encounters with migrants from Mexico and northern Central America nations decreased 43%.
CBP said the number of migrants coming from Mexico and northern Central America has declined this summer.
But what is driving a surge of migrants from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua?
“Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration across the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwest U.S. border,” said CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus. “Our dedicated teams of skilled agents continue to work around the clock to secure our border and safely and humanely process and vet every individual encountered, but those fleeing repressive regimes pose significant challenges for processing and removal.”
Overall, there have been more than 2 million apprehensions at the border in fiscal year 2022 (which ends in September). Even with a month remaining in the fiscal year, the CBP has already set a record for the number of apprehensions at the border.
The issue of migrants from Venezuela got a lot of attention last week after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis facilitated a flight of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
“The one place in our country where we see virtually no law and order is at the southern border, and this is a crisis now getting a little more attention. This is a crisis...it is a crisis, and its a manufactured crisis because of Biden's failed policies,” DeSantis said.
Migrants who claim asylum are generally released after being processed by CBP while they await a court hearing. U.S. statistics show that nearly two-thirds of asylum claims are rejected, causing those seeking asylum to be deported.