The Associated Press reports that 17,000 Brazilian migrants entered the United States through the city of El Paso during Fiscal Year 2019. Approximately 18,000 crossed into the U.S. along the entire southwest border with Mexico — a 600 percent increase over the previous high during FY2016.
“The quiet migration of around 17,000 Brazilians through a single U.S. city in the past year reveals a new frontier in the Trump administration’s effort to shut down the legal immigration pathway for people claiming fear of persecution,” the AP reported. “Brazilian families are not held indefinitely in detention but instead released to Annunciation House, a network of shelters, where they can stay for a few days while they arrange flights to other cities in the U.S.”
The apprehension of about 17,000 Brazilian migrants accounts for just over nine percent of the 182,143 total migrants apprehended by Border Patrol agents during the fiscal year that ended on September 30, according to the CBP Southwest Border Migration Report.
The AP reported that many of the Brazilian migrants are seeking asylum but the article’s interviews with migrants make it appear to be more of an economic migration.
“Things are in pretty bad shape in Brazil right now. The only way to have a better life in Brazil is to go to college, but college is very expensive,” Helison Alvarenga, a 26-year-old Brazilian migrant who crossed the border into El Paso in August with his wife and young son, told the AP through a translator. He said he began working shortly after arriving in Brocton, Massachusetts, in August. He told the reporter he is now making three times as much as what he made working as a mechanic in Brazil.
Brazil is currently in its third year of approximately one percent economic growth — its worst-ever recession, the AP stated.
While the apprehension of most migrants has fallen during the past six months due to new policies put in place by the Trump administration, cartel-connected human smugglers changed their own tactics and began recruiting migrants from countries not impacted by the new policies, acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters during a Monday press conference.
Morgan told the reporters his agency and the Trump administration are working quickly to respond to the surge in migrants from extracontinental nations and plan to implement similar protocols now being successfully applied to Central American migrants.
“We’re confident that the kind of same approach and same initiatives that we are applying with Northern Triangle countries’ families, specifically, that we’re going to be able to apply those same initiatives with other demographics as well,” Morgan explained during the press conference.
CBP officials also reported an increase in migrants from African countries, Breitbart Texas reported earlier this week.
“During last summer, Del Rio Sector experienced an increase in arrests of people from countries in Africa,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement. “These arrests decreased beginning in about August, but starting this fiscal year we have seen a resurgence in this demographic.”
Del Rio Sector agents apprehended 56 migrants last week from the continent, officials stated. The countries include migrants from Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
So far this fiscal year, which began on October 1, Del Rio Sector agents apprehended about 300 migrants from 11 countries from Africa. During all of FY 2019, agents in this sector apprehended 1,211 from 19 different countries.
In July, Del Rio Sector officials reported the apprehension of more than 1,100 migrants from the African continent in just over two months, Breitbart Texas reported. The migrants present unique problems for Border Patrol agents who must care for their health and safety.
“The apprehension of people from African countries illegally crossing our borders continues to increase,” Chief Ortiz said at the time. “Our agents this year have encountered people from 51 countries other than Mexico including 19 countries from the continent of Africa.”