More Cubans Crossing from Mexico to Immigrate to the USA


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According to Monday’s figures, nearly 32,400 Cubans were encountered by U.S. border officials in March. This number has increased sharply in recent months.

After leaving Cuba, the mother-of-two tried for years to get her parents and children into the U.S. via legal channels.

Finally, she decided she wouldn’t wait any longer: She paid more than $40,000 dollars to someone to help them sneak in through Mexico.

“I said to myself, ‘Enough. I am going to risk everything,’” said the 30-year-old woman, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from U.S. authorities.

Her family’s story is an example of what tens of thousands of Cuban immigrants looking to escape political and economic troubles are going through as more risk their lives and arrive illegally in the United States. It is quite a different reality than years ago, when Cubans were able to enjoy special protections not offered to other immigrants.

They embarked on a 20-day journey with their parents, children, and grandchildren. The journey began with a plane trip from Havana to Managua in Nicaragua. They then traveled by bus, van, and taxi across Honduras as well as Guatemala and Mexico until they reached the U.S. border.

“I saw that other people were coming through the border and they were happy, and I, who had done things legally, was still waiting for my children,” the woman said.

According to data released Monday, nearly 32,400 Cubans were encountered by U.S. Border Authorities in March. This was five times more than the October figure and roughly twice the February number.

The increase coincided with Nicaragua’s decision starting in November to stop requiring visas for Cubans to promote tourism after other countries, such as Panama and the Dominican Republic, began mandating them.

After flying to Nicaragua, Cubans travel by land to remote stretches of the U.S. border with Mexico – mainly in Yuma, Arizona, and Del Rio, Texas – and generally turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents.

Biden’s administration relies on other countries to prevent migrants from entering the U.S., as seen most recently in Panama this week by Secretary of State Antony Blinken (and Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas). This effort is complicated by the actions of Nicaragua, an adversary to the U.S.

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