The rise of middle-class migration: South American families fly to Mexico, take a taxi and illegally cross the US, Yuma border chief claims
- Thousands of migrants coming to the US flee economic poverty and political instability
- A new report shows other middle-class migrants are also flocking to America’s southern border with Mexico to seek refuge, a new report reveals
- Some of these more affluent migrants fly into a Mexican border town, take a taxi to the border and walk across to turn themselves into US authorities.
- “They got off the plane and went to a taxi or a bus,” said Chris Clem, Border Patrol’s chief patrol officer in Yuma, Arizona.
- Added: ‘They were literally wheeled up and just walked over to us and surrendered themselves to us’
While hundreds of thousands of poor migrants seeking asylum in the US have set out on foot from South and Central America in the past eight months, there has also been an increase in middle-class migrants flooding the southern border.
These so-called middle-class migrants often fly to Mexico’s northern border on pre-scheduled flights and cross the US by taxi or other rental car, a border patrol chief in Arizona told the Wall Street Journal.
“They got off the plane and went to a taxi or a bus,” said Chris Clem, chief patrol officer for the Yuma Border Police.
“They were literally pushed up and just walked up to us and surrendered to us,” he said, describing the final leg of the more affluent migrants’ journey across the US-Mexico border.
Clem said his team regularly encounters migrants who claim they took flights to a northern Mexican border town before illegally entering the US
These middle-class migrants also spent less time in shelters than their poorer counterparts.
While many migrants from poorer countries, such as Haiti and Northern Triangle Nations, seek asylum in the US to escape the conditions in their country, it increasingly appears that middle-class migrants are doing the same.
The majority of illegal offenders who come to the US through the border with Mexico come from the world’s poorest countries, fleeing poverty and crime.
As thousands of migrants fleeing economic poverty and political instability flee to the US, other middle-class migrants are also flocking to the southern border, a new report reveals. Haitian migrants here await processing of asylum applications in Mexico on Tuesday
Some of these middle-class migrants fly to a Mexican border town on pre-scheduled flights, take a taxi to the border and walk across to turn themselves into authorities. Here, Border Patrol arrests a group of Brazilian migrants who illegally entered Otay Mesa, California on Wednesday
For example, last month 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants formed a makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas.
The recent influx of more affluent migrants appears to be indicative of the economic aftershocks as part of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading some to seek refuge in the US who may not have sought these revenues in the past.
South America and the Caribbean lost about 26 million jobs last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Brazil is also experiencing some of the highest death rates from a pandemic – more than 600,000 COVID-related deaths recently, second only to the US
Brazil and Venezuela have faced severe economic downturns and political instability related to the COVID pandemic.
“The global recession has really made people lose hope,” said Andrew Selee, president of the impartial think tank Migration Policy Institute.
He added: “It’s a lot to go from middle class in your country to undocumented in the United States.”
Since Joe Biden took office, Customs and Border Protection has met more than 1.2 million migrants on the southern border.
August was the first month the number of meetings fell since Biden became president, still reaching a staggering 208,887 — down from the July figure of 213,534.
Biden’s team is still removing thousands of migrants using Title 42, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measure used to deport illegal offenders during a public health emergency.
Many migrants from countries outside Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have not been returned – at least not from the Yuma sector – because Mexican authorities do not accept them.