The U.S. Customs and Border Protection made 54,833 arrests of Venezuelans trying to enter the US from Mexico in September, more than doubling the number of arrests made in August and far surpassing the previous monthly high set in September.
U.S. Border Protection reports that the number of arrests of people of all nationalities trying to enter the country from Mexico was 218,763 in September, up 21% from 181,084 in August and quickly nearing the all-time high of 222,018 in December 2022.
For the second year in a row, government arrests topped 2 million during the fiscal year that concluded on September 30. This is a decrease of 7% from the record high of over 2.2 million over the same time period in the previous fiscal year.
Over 7 million individuals have fled Venezuela in the last decade due to the country’s political, economic, socialism catastrophe. They first established themselves in neighbouring Latin American countries, but in the past three years have been migrating to the United States, primarily to the cities of New York and Chicago.
VOA reports, nearly 500,000 Venezuelans were already in the United States as of July 31, and the Biden administration has granted temporary legal status for them, while promising to deport those who enter illegally after that date and fail to receive asylum. As part of its diplomatic thaw with the government of Nicolás Maduro, a long-time foe, it has begun deportation flights to Venezuela.
According to Troy Miller, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, the United States “surged resources and personnel” to the border in September.
“We are continually engaging with domestic and foreign partners to address historic hemispheric migration, including large migrant groups travelling on goods trains, and to enforce consequences including by preparing for direct repatriations to Venezuela,” said Miller.
The majority of illegal border crossers were Mexicans for many years, but that has changed to Central Americans and, more recently, migrants from South America, Africa, and Asia.
In September, border patrols made 39,733 arrests of Mexicans, second only to those of Venezuelans. Top five also included a Guatemalan, a Honduran, and a Colombian.
Republicans jumped on the new data as their presidential contenders have made border security a central plank of their campaigns.
“This fiscal year may have ended, but the historic crisis at our Southwest border sparked by (Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro) Mayorkas’ policies rages on,” said Representative Mark Green, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee from Tennessee.
The Biden administration has argued that Congress is necessary for any permanent solution, and on Friday they suggested allocating nearly $14 billion of the $106 billion spending plan to the border.
The government has used a ‘carrot and stick’ strategy, offering new legal avenues for asylum seekers while also imposing limits on those who don’t follow the rules.
Since the online appointment system launched in January, almost 278,000 migrants have entered the country at land crossings with Mexico using the CBP One mobile app. Additionally, until the month of September, more than 265,000 people had entered through airports having applied online with financial sponsors from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
There were a record 269,735 crossings in September, setting a new monthly high and a new budget year high of nearly 2.5 million.