A growing number of immigrants at the Mexican border don’t come from south of the border.
According to a UPI report, there is a “surge” in African refugees seeking entry to the United States through Mexico. In the last two months alone, a whopping 90 African asylum seekers settled in the city of Piedras Negras, which lies across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas.
African refugees entering U.S. through Mexico
A Catholic reverend and migrant advocate described to UPI the migrants’ long, circuitous path from Africa to the United States.
“After leaving Cameroon, Angola and the Congo they arrived in South America,” Rev. José Valdés said. “Then they made it to Guatemala, and after crossing into Mexico at Tapachula, Mexican authorities provided them with two-week transit visas so they could cross through the country legally to the United States, where they are seeking asylum.”
Some of the refugees, many of whom are fleeing war and religious persecution, travel for three years or longer. Valdés said that “at least 16 nuclear families with children” waited in Piedras Negras to make an appointment for asylum within the U.S.
“The Africans came to Piedras Negras because they heard it is a safer border city than the rest,” Valdés said.
While the trend doesn’t measure up with the millions of African and Asian refugees fleeing to Europe, a growing number of migrants from the Old World have been seeking entry to the U.S. through Latin America. Almost 3,000 African migrants were turned away at ports of entry along the southern border between October 2015 and August 2016.