SAN DIEGO ( Associated Press) – A 98% drop in arrivals from Venezuela at the U.S. southern border has helped stem a sharp drop in the number of migrants entering the country illegally since the asylum ban expired last week. US officials said Wednesday that enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Border Patrol has caught migrants an average of 4,400 times a day since Friday, when a public health rule known as Title 42 expired. The average over the past two days has involved fewer than 4,000 migrants, according to Blas Nuñez-Neto, acting assistant secretary for border policy and immigration at the Department of Homeland Security. This is less than the daily average of more than 10,000 that was recorded in the four days before Title 42 expired.
“We are seeing encouraging signs that the measures we have put in place are working,” Nuñez-Neto told reporters. ,
The April figures released on Wednesday better show how Venezuelans flooded the border in the waning days of Title 42.
The US government is promoting a strategy that combines new legal routes to enter the United States with consequences for those who do not use them.
Núñez-Neto said that before Title 42 expired, the Border Patrol caught 2,400 Venezuelans in one day, along with 1,900 Mexicans and 1,400 Colombians. After Title 42 expired, Mexicans replaced Venezuelans as the top nationality with 1,000 nationals a day, followed by 510 Colombians and 470 Guatemalans. The Venezuelan count dropped to 50.
Núñez-Neto said “there are many promising signs” that migration through Panama’s dangerous Darién region is slowing.
Migration from Venezuela also fell in October when Mexico began receiving people from the South American nation who had been expelled by the United States under Title 42, which barred those requesting asylum on grounds of preventing the spread of the virus. was denied the right. , However, Venezuelans began arriving again in large numbers just before Title 42 expired, after walking for several days through Panama.
The United States is deporting “thousands” of Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans back to Mexico under a new policy that took effect Friday that bars people traveling from another country, such as Mexico, to cross the US border illegally. Denies asylum to anyone who commits With a few exceptions, Nuñez-Neto said.
The new legal routes include allowing up to 30,000 Venezuelans, Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans into the United States each month if they meet requirements such as applying online, having a financial sponsor and arriving by plane. Figures released Wednesday showed those four nationalities took advantage of parole offers in April, but only Venezuelans of the four crossed the border illegally in record high numbers, second only to Mexicans.
The Border Patrol recorded 182,114 apprehensions of migrants of all nationalities in April, a 12% increase from what was reported in March, but down 11% from the same period last year.
The United States is also granting entry to up to 1,000 people a day from across the land border with Mexico if they request it through a mobile app called CBPOne in northern Mexico. Nuñez-Neto said the number allowed in the app would increase soon, but did not say when or by what proportion.
So far, President Joe Biden’s warnings that the border will be “chaotic for a while” have not played up as some thought, with the number only a third of the government’s highest projections.
The Border Patrol detained more than 28,000 people last week, doubling in two weeks, and the agency released thousands without notice to appear in immigration court. Instead, notices were sent to them to appear at an immigration office within 60 days, dramatically reducing processing times and allowing officers to free up space at the detention facility.
On Tuesday, a federal judge in Florida expanded his order issued last week to bar accelerated releases. Núñez-Neto reiterated the government’s disagreement with the court order on Wednesday, although he acknowledged that the low number of crossings compounded the detention conditions. The Border Patrol detained 22,259 people on Sunday, a 23% decrease from four days earlier.