(The Center Square) – It’s not just people from Mexico trying to enter the United States via its southern border.
Southwestern states like Arizona are seeing large numbers of people trying to cross into America from communist regimes like Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol press release.
In October 2022, there were 69,960 migrant encounters with people from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, representing a 149% increase over October 2021. This was a higher amount of migrant encounters than the border saw with people from Mexico and northern Central America (60,824). Overall, the southwest border had 185,527 unique migrant encounters in October 2022, a 1.5% increase compared to the previous month. Much of that increase was caused by people fleeing Cuba and Nicaragua, according to the report.
These migrant encounters are not stopping any time soon in Arizona. For example, a group of 60 migrants surrendered to border patrol agents near Lukeville on Monday this week. Of that group of 60 people, 56 were Cuban citizens, according to the chief border patrol agent for the Tucson sector.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border dropped from September to October. On October 12, the Department of Homeland Security announced a process to allow more Venezuelans to enter the country legally. As a result, the number of land border Venezuelan migrant encounters dropped from 33,804 in September to 22,044 in October.
“In response to the change in populations we are encountering at the border, and continuing in our commitment to provide lawful pathways for admission so that desperate asylum seekers do not place their vulnerable lives in the hands of smugglers, we implemented a new process for Venezuelan nationals that has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of Venezuelan encounters at our border. The new process has seen Venezuelan encounters drop from approximately 1100 per day to about 300 per day by the end of October,” CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said in a press release. “Encounters of Cuban and Nicaraguan asylum seekers fleeing their authoritarian regimes continues to be at an historic high. This reflects the challenge that is gripping the hemisphere, as displaced populations flee authoritarianism, corruption, violence, and poverty.”