As hundreds of people were released from Yuma’s border detention facility on Friday, a fleet of charter buses sat in the parking lot of the nonprofit Regional Center for Border Health, waiting to ferry the migrants to the airport or to Phoenix. For weeks, the group fills about six buses with migrants each day. Sixteen buses carrying about 800 migrants left on Friday.
On some days last week, more than 11,000 people were arrested after illegally crossing the southern border, according to internal agency data obtained by The New York Times, increasing capacity in detention facilities run by the Border Patrol. Over the past two years, about 7,000 people They were caught on an ordinary day; Officials consider 8,000 or more concerns an increase.
Fewer than 10,000 people who crossed the border illegally were caught by Border Patrol Thursday, a person familiar with the situation said, indicating a significant increase before Title 42 was lifted.
Outside a shelter in McAllen, Texas, Ligia Garcia pondered her family’s next steps. She was elated to finally be able to cross the Rio Grande, but with no family in the US, no money, they found themselves in the same position as thousands of other immigrants along the border with Mexico: waiting, while counting on the kindness of strangers.
“We will ask for help right now, because we have no money and no other choice,” said Ms. Garcia, 31, a Venezuelan immigrant holding her six-month-old son, Roem, near the overgrown shelter run by Catholic charities. “It was a huge sacrifice getting here,” she said, describing how she and her husband traveled with their two children through the jungles of Central America, then Mexico, to get to Texas. “But it was worth it. We are in America.”
While Mexicans and Central Americans for decades accounted for the majority of immigrants seeking entry to the United States, Venezuelans have been crossing southern borders in greater numbers than ever before, and they have recently dwarfed the numbers of immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
But because large-scale emigration from Venezuela is a relatively new phenomenon, Venezuelans often lack networks of relatives or friends who can help them in the United States, and often arrive with nothing but the clothes they wear, like Ms. Garcia, an immigrant in McAllen.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”
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