by Jennie Taer
Border authorities are seeing a continued flow of migrants crossing into the U.S. that are from countries beyond Central America ahead of an expected surge when Title 42 ends.
Over 32,000 Cubans were arrested in March, doubling the number taken in custody in February, according to unreleased Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data reported by The Washington Post.
Cubans are coming mainly through Nicaragua, which lifted visa requirements for Cubans in November, BBC Mundo reported. After crossing into the U.S. they’re released under humanitarian parole, according to Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin.
NEW: (1/3) A DHS source in RGV sector tells me the federal gov has started mass releasing Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, & some Colombians via *parole* after this email went out on Sunday notifying BP agents that HQ had authorized the move “effective immediately.” @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/7oAsBJPfBT
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 24, 2022
“The visa-free air route to Managua and then the overland journey through Central America and Mexico to the southern border replaces the dangerous sea routes Cubans typically took to South America,” Center for Immigration Studies fellow and former head of counterterrorism intelligence for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Todd Bensman wrote.
In Texas’ Del Rio border sector, Border Patrol saw around 41,000 migrants cross in March, of which around 20,000 were Venezuelan, Cuban, or Nicaraguan, the sector’s National Border Patrol Council (NPBC) President Jon Anfinsen told Republican lawmakers Monday.
“We’re seeing people here in Del Rio from across the globe, West, North Africa, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, South Asia, everywhere, and they’re all coming to the Texas border in droves, along with Yuma, Arizona.”
Border Patrol catches mostly Colombians, Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans in the Rio Grande Valley sector, the sector’s NPBC President Chris Cabrera told the Republican lawmakers.
“In the Rio Grande Valley, I believe we’re 72% other than Mexican, so it’s not just regular folks crossing … it’s people coming from all over the globe. Recently, we started to see an uptick in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkey. So, we don’t know how many is getting away and once this thing opens up, we’re already under water,” Cabrera said.
Border agents are concerned by the influx and its possible implications for U.S. national security as they continue to see migrants from areas of the world with terrorism ties, NPBC President Brandon Judd told the lawmakers.
“I would go as far as saying we’re not apprehending terrorists because the organizations are going to be very careful to ensure that an actual terrorist is not apprehended,” Judd said. “And as easy as it is to get across our borders, as porous as our borders are, they’re going to be very effective at ensuring that if people that are actual terrorists are not apprehended, So, it’s that old saying: if a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s around, does it make a sound? Same thing with this situation.”
“Yes, we have apprehended about 34 people, from my understanding, whose names match names on the terrorist watchlist, we just don’t know if they were the actual terrorist,” Judd added.
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Jennie Taer is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Hundreds of Migrants” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.