From India, Brazil and Beyond: Pandemic Refugees at the Border


The spike in Arizona prompted Gov. Doug Ducey to declare a state of emergency in a number of counties final month and to deploy the National Guard alongside the border. Republican lawmakers have been sharply crucial of the admission of tens of thousands of young migrants, together with numerous households, who would have been turned again beneath the Trump administration. Even Senator Mark Kelly, a Democrat, lately criticized President Biden for not addressing “the immediate crisis at the border.”

During a single weekend in early May, brokers in the Yuma space intercepted 1,600 migrants.

“So many people around the world saw their standard of living slide backward, it’s no surprise that they would jump at the chance to get into the U.S. when they hear that others have managed to cross from Mexico successfully,” mentioned Andrew Selee, president of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute.

“I saw some of the same dynamics in 2019,” he mentioned. “But it was on a much smaller scale.”

While most of the migrants don’t essentially perceive the intricacies of U.S. border coverage, many mentioned in interviews that they perceived a limited-time provide to enter the United States. Friends and members of the family already in the nation, together with smugglers desperate to money in, have assured them that they won’t be turned away — and that is proving to be true.

“What we’re hearing back home is that the new president is facilitating entry, and there is demand for labor,” mentioned Rodrigo Neto, who got here from Brazil, the place the pandemic killed his enterprise and left him overwhelmed by debt. “I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”

Mr. Neto, 55, shuttered his electrical store, bought his automobile and gathered up his financial savings to pay for the journey.

Like many individuals from Brazil and different international locations ravaged by the pandemic, he was unable to get a visa to enter the United States. Instead, he flew from São Paulo to Mexico City and then to Tijuana, the place a driver working for a smuggling community met his group. They had been then ferried to the aspect of the highway in Algodones, Mexico, throughout the border from Arizona, the place they had been deposited one current morning.

From there it took them simply 10 minutes to achieve County Road 8, the place a Border Patrol agent stood close to a gap in the wall.



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