Despite the measures that have been taken to discourage immigration, there is still a flood of Colombians arriving at the southern border of the United States with the intention of staying in this country, even if it is illegal.
This week the US Customs and Border Control (CBP) released statistics for the month of March and they are worrying.
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Between 1 and 31 of last month, authorities arrested 15,144 Colombians who were trying to enter the country illegally or who had applied for asylum at the time of their arrest.
This is a 58 percent increase from the previous month (9600), which is already a record in recent history and tripled in January (3,911 arrests).
To put it in context, so far in fiscal year 2022 (which begins in October 2021) the United States has held about 40,000 Colombians.
This represents a 545 percent increase in these six months compared to all illegal immigration that occurred in fiscal year 2021 (6,200 arrests).
If you look by month and take the first available data from CBP (October 2019), the increase was 36,000 percent: from 41 encounters that month to 15,144 last month.
The high immigration to the southern border has caused concern the US authorities, which last month signed an agreement with Colombia to take it Citizens expelled through the controversial Section 42, which allows them to explicitly deport people And without proper immigration procedures claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a health emergency in the country.
Since then, in this way, more than 2,000 Colombians have been expelled from the United States and returned on charter flights funded by Washington.
So far, according to sources consulted by this newspaper, there have already been 20 such flights since last month
But the administration of President Joe Biden has just announced the end of Section 42 implementation starting May 23, suggesting that immigration, rather than a decrease, could increase from next month.
According to several organizations that monitor this situation, including Wola, there are several factors that could push Colombians to migrate to the United States.
Among them, the economic hardships left by those two years of the pandemic in the country, Biden’s rise to the presidency – which many understood as a call to emigrate after the four-year shutdown that the previous administration of Donald Trump implemented nonetheless. The Democrat is expelling immigrants at record levels – And not having a visa to enter Mexico, the country they first arrive in by air and then try to cross the border.
Sergio Gomez Masseri
On Twitter: @sergom68
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