While in fiscal year 2020 (October 2019 to September 2020) the United States Border Patrol apprehended just under 3,000 Colombians who tried to enter that country irregularly, so far in fiscal year 2023 (October 2022 to March 2023) Authorities have already detained more than 92,000 Colombians.

Although the coronavirus pandemic was in force at that time when it had restricted mobility, the data shows a massive exodus of compatriots to the United States who have been breaking all kinds of records in the migratory figures of that North American nation.

In March 2023, for example, Colombians ranked second in the number of people arrested for the first time. trying to enter that country without documents through any of its borders.

Traditionally, that position had been held by citizens of countries such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela who, according to the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), «sought to flee from failed communist systems by driving a wave of migration in the Western Hemisphere».

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San Ysidro, California, US-Mexico border.

However, CBP reported in March 17,491 arrests of Colombians attempting to enter the United States without documents. A number only surpassed by Mexicans, whose arrests reached 82,219.

Behind the compatriots were Venezuelans (15,958 arrests in March), Guatemalans (15,368 arrests), Haitians (14,972) and Hondurans (13,511).

If that the wave of Colombian migrants heading to the United States began to grow since mid-2021. Thus, while by April of that year the authorities detained 583 Colombians trying to enter that country without documents, by September there were already 2,587 compatriots detained.

(Also read: Who are the people the United States is deporting to Colombia?)

Colombian migrants deported from the US

Since then, the numbers have not stopped growing. In May 2022, for example, a record number of Colombians detained was achieved, with a total of 19,862 captured. in his attempt to enter US territory without the necessary papers.

And from there the figures have remained high. In October 2022 there were 17,662 compatriots detained, in November there were 16,300 and in December 18,035. In total, so far this fiscal period There are already 92,673 Colombians detained by the Border Patrol. Compared to the 130,971 compatriots in 2022, 10,495 in 2021 and only 2,768 in 2020.

But the truth is that the exodus of migrants does not occur only in the case of Colombians. According to CBP data, between October 2022 and March of this year, a total of 1,544,087 migrants have already been detained, most of them in the El Paso border region.

(You can read: The United States accuses migrants of being «violent» due to denunciations of deported Colombians)

Fast food delivery men deliver orders to migrants at the border wall today, in the city of Tijuana, Baja California.

The figure is much higher if the previous ones are taken into account. Throughout fiscal year 2020 -at the most critical moments of the covid-19 pandemic-, the authorities detained a total of 646,822 people who tried to enter through any of the United States borders.

Then, in the 2021 fiscal period, the figure rose to 1,956,519 arrests of undocumented migrants. AND the record was reached in 2022, when CBP reported 2.7 million arrests in border areas.

(Also: US: What is Title 8, and how does it affect migrants at the border?)

In any case, the current arrests are already very close to those that occurred in 2019, even with six months to go until the end of fiscal year 2023. And, if the current pace is maintained, it could even reach a new record that exceeds the 2.7 million detainees in the previous year.

In total, in this fiscal period the authorities have detained 390,378 Mexicans, 135,000 Cubans, 103,000 Nicaraguans, 94,606 Venezuelans, 92,673 Colombians, 86,547 Guatemalans, and 76,795 Hondurans. And the figures seem that they will not stop going up.


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