Neris Arruaz held her 2-year-old in one arm and a small red bag on the other with a few diapers inside. She has come to the social service organization Ayudándoles A Triunfar, in the border city of Matamoros, Mexico, to ask for a few more.
Arruaz, her husband and two small children are from Cuba. They arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border in April and are not sure when they will be able to present themselves at a port of entry. In Cuba, she was an accountant and her husband was a veterinarian.
As Cubans, Arruaz and her family are part of one of the demographics with the highest increases in encounters along the Southern border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
In the past, most of the migrants entering the U.S. or apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border were coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
In the last few months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have noticed a change. Now the majority are fleeing Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Haiti. CBP data shows that some are even coming from as far away as China and Afghanistan. On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security reported removing migrants from more than 30 countries.
Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America, a nonprofit human rights group, shared his insight on Twitter about that CBP migrant data. He said there were no “giant shifts” among the number of migrants apprehended between ports of entry from February to April. Except for Venezuela where 1,451 migrants were encountered in February, 3,313 in March, and 29,656 in April.
“… [Venezuelan] citizens seemed undeterred by possible Title 42 expulsion into Mexico. Or were misinformed. Or both,” he wrote.