SW Border Encounters: Cubans Up 939% Over Last April; Nicaraguans +308%; Colombians + 4,837%

Patrick Goodenough | May 18, 2022 | 4:24am EDT
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Illegal immigration at the border in San Luis, Arizona. (Photo by Nick Ut/Getty Images)
Illegal immigration at the border in San Luis, Arizona. (Photo by Nick Ut/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – With five months of the fiscal year yet to go, the number of migrants encountered at the southwest border from countries other than Mexico and the “northern triangle” is already 33 percent higher than the number encountered in the entire fiscal year 2021.

The number of all migrants trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States, is expected to rise even more – and significantly so – if Title 42 is terminated, according to Republican critics.

The public health authority, which since 2020 has allowed the expulsion of illegal migrants without a court hearing due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, is set to expire on May 23, unless federal court action delays or prevents the move.

Overall, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded a new record-high 234,088 encounters in April with migrants of all nationalities trying to enter the U.S. illegally on the southwest border, stopped either by U.S. Border Patrol agents or by the Office of Field Operations officers at a port of entry. That’s 30.9 percent more than in April 2021, when a total of 178,795 encounters were reported.

Leaving aside encounters with migrants from Mexico and the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the CBP recorded 108,555 encounters in April with individuals from the rest of the world.

(Graph: CNSNews.com/Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
(Graph: CNSNews.com/Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

That figure is also a new record-high, an increase of 23 percent from the 88,327 reported one month earlier, and a jump of 220 percent from April 2021, when 33,897 encounters were recorded.

The April figure for this cohort – everyone not from Mexico and the northern triangle – brings the year-to-date total for FY 2022 to 502,743, compared to 378,043 for all of FY 2021.

Migrants originating from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Colombia have accounted for especially large increases in the number of encounters over the past year.

--34,821 encounters with Cubans were reported in April, compared to 3,288 in April 2021, an increase of 939 percent.

--12,563 encounters with Nicaraguans were reported in April, compared to 3,074 in April last year, up by 308 percent.

--12,837 encounters with migrants from Colombia were reported in April, compared to just 260 in April 2021, an increase of 4,837 percent.

(Graph: CNSNews.com/Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
(Graph: CNSNews.com/Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Mexico accounted for the largest number of encounters along the southwest border last month – 81,784, up from 65,597 in April 2021.

For each of the three northern triangle countries of Central America, however, the April figures were down from the same month last year: Guatemala 19,841 (down from 30,053 in April 2021), El Salvador 8,327 (down from 11,043 a year earlier), and Honduras 15,581 (down from 38,205 a year earlier).

The CBP tallies “encounters” with illegal migrants since it says many individuals are stopped more than once. Of the total of 234,088 southwest border migrant encounters in April, it said 28 percent were with people who had been involved in at least one previous encounter over the past 12 months.

Of the total 234,088 encounters in April, 96,908 (41 percent) of the individuals stopped were processed for expulsion under the pandemic-related Title 42, and 137,180 were processed under the traditional Title 8 authority.

Title 8 allows for the speedy removal of anyone who attempts to enter without authorization, and who are unable to establish a legal basis to remain, such as a valid asylum claim.

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