Southern Border Apprehensions At Two-Decade High
Apprehensions of undocumented immigrants at the Southern U.S. border in 2021 have reached levels last seen in 2001, despite two months still to go in the current fiscal year…
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The inflow of undocumented immigrants from Central America drove numbers up significantly, but, as Statista’s Katharina Buchholz notes, immigration from Mexico has also increased again for the fourth year in a row – together creating another exceptional year at the Southern border that has already surpassed the records set in 2019. The number of individuals apprehended with their families also rose again in 2021, as Central American migrants tend to leave their countries out of fear of violence, often taking their families with them.
In 2019, Trump era policies of separating migrant children from their parents as well as the practice of keeping those who apply for asylum in tent cities in Mexico caused outrage among some. Both practices had been discontinued under the Biden Administration until the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to block a Texas judge from ruling for the reinstatement of “Remain in Mexico”. Both President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris have made it clear that they strongly discourage migrants from making the journey to the United States, but have done little in practice to effectuate this.
Historically, immigrants from Mexico made up the largest share of undocumented arrivals to the United States. The arrivals were mostly classified as work migrants, i.e. men arriving without their families at least initially. In the year 2000, Customs and Border Protection records show that more than 1.6 million Mexicans were arrested at the border. This number reached a low of 128,000 in FY2017, before rising again to 500,000 in 2021.
The number of non-Mexicans apprehended at the border exceeded 774,000 in 2021. Out of these, around 80 percent came from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Immigration from Mexico started to decrease during the Great Recession as work was in short supply. Reasons for this include the economy in Mexico doing better while the country shifts towards an aging population, which causes workers to be more sought after. While this development already flipped again in 2018, the coronavirus pandemic seems to have accelerated the shift as more single adults attempt to leave Mexico for the United States once more.
Mon, 08/30/2021 – 22:00
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