Venezuelan Migrant Apprehensions Surge in All Southwest Border Sectors

Large Group of Venezuelan migrants apprehended in the Del Rio Sector. (U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector)
U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector

Border Patrol agents are arresting large numbers of Venezuelan migrants at a greater frequency than in past years. The large, mostly Venezuelan migrant groups that at one time almost exclusively entered through the Del Rio, Texas, are now spreading across the southwest border from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas. The groups of predominantly Venezuelans are even crossing into the most remote regions of the border in West Texas.

As reported by Breitbart Texas on Wednesday, more than 70 Venezuelan migrants crossed the border through the Big Bend National Park near Alpine, Texas, in two groups. On Thursday, an additional 60 Venezuelan migrants were apprehended after crossing the border illegally and entering the national park.

The park is patrolled by agents assigned to the Big Bend Sector of the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol’s Big Bend Sector is the sector with the fewest migrant apprehensions among the nine southwest border sectors.

Border Patrol Agents near Brownsville arrested 168 Venezuelan migrants in one single group on Monday.

In Del Rio n Sunday, a single group of more than 250 mostly Venezuelan and Cuban migrants were apprehended and were detained under the city’s international bridge due to overcrowding at area Border Patrol stations.

A media report highlighted the issue of Venezuelan migrant trafficking in San Diego. In early November, Border Patrol agents in San Diego arrested two Mexican nationals suspected of bringing large numbers of Venezuelan and Brazilian migrants to Tijuana, Mexico, to be smuggled in Southern California. Nearly 350 migrants from Venezuela and Brazil were arrested by Border Patrol agents in San Diego over a two-week period in five large groups.

According to reports from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the spike in the arrest of Venezuelan nationals hit its peak in October. During that month, the Border Patrol arrested 13,387 Venezuelan migrants crossing the southwest border. Venezuela is currently the fourth-ranked nationality of migrants apprehended by the Border Patrol nationwide for the month of October. Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras are in the top three spots respectively.

In October of 2020, only 136 Venezuelan nationals were arrested illegally entering the county. As reported by Breitbart Texas, the sharp month-to-month increases over last year mark a more than 9,000 percent increase.

The exodus of migrants from Venezuela is a clear indication the trend is likely to continue. According to the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 5.6 million Venezuelans left their country over the past few years. In a recent report by the IOM, the volume of Venezuelans leaving the country is considered the largest external displacement crisis in Latin America’s recent history.

The current population of Venezuela stands at 28.7  million and has remained unchanged in nearly a decade as a result of external migration. In a 2018 survey by the IOM, 92 percent of Venezuelan migrants who have migrated to other Latin American countries indicated they intended to remain in their new country of residence. That may be changing.

Breitbart Texas interviewed several Venezuelan migrants who abandoned their permanent residence in a third country in hopes of seeking asylum in the United States. Those doing so are likely responding to a change in immigration policies regarding asylum petitions. Once forced to remain in Mexico under the previous administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, many are now released into the United States to await the lengthy asylum adjudication process.

Hundreds of Venezuelans have joined in on a migrant caravan in Mexico hoping to achieve the same goal, according to a recent press report by Reuters. According to the caravan’s organizer, between 20 and 30 percent of the nearly 3,000-strong migrant caravan in Southern Mexico is comprised of Venezuelan migrants.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.


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