For the first time, Mexicans are not the largest group of migrants attempting to cross the southern border into the United States. The shift in demographics may represent both changes at the U.S.-Mexico border and geopolitical issues in other countries.
Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showed a record number of migrants attempting to cross the southern border. Law enforcement recorded almost 220,000 instances of people attempting to cross into the country, which was a significant increase over the August figure.
Despite the high numbers, the country closest to the United States did not represent the largest share of attempted crossers. According to the CBP, Venezuelans were the largest share of individuals attempting to enter the United States, tallying in at almost 55,000. This represented more than a doubling of the previous month’s figure and set an all-time high.
NEW: Since CBP began mass paroling/admitting migrants into the country in January via the CBP One app at ports of entry, CBP reports nearly 278,000 migrants have scheduled appointments via the app, w/ the top nationalities being Haitian, Mexican, and Venezuelan.
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) October 21, 2023
Mexicans represented the second-largest share, with almost 40,000 Mexican nationals arrested attempting to cross the border.
Other countries from Latin America represented the remainder of the top five nations the migrants are coming from.
Venezuela has suffered an extended economic slump over the last decade. Conservatives often cite the country’s socialist government as a key cause of Caracas’ serious inflation and other issues.
The government of Nicolas Maduro has been hostile to the United States.
The Biden administration allowed almost half a million Venezuelans already in the country to stay in the country with a temporary legal status. However, the White House said that it would deport those who arrived after July 31 who did not qualify for asylum.
Included in the border figure were more than 4,000 Chinese nationals, representing almost double the figure from August. The most recent figure is about ten times larger than last summer.
The CBP also encountered almost 1,800 Russian nationals.
Overall, there have been almost 2.5 such migrant encounters so far this year. The White House recently requested $14 billion for improved border security and recently announced that it was building a portion of the border wall originally proposed by former President Donald Trump.