Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Migrants opting for the Mexico route

Some years ago, the combined efforts of U.S. and allied drug enforcement agencies succeeded in reducing drug traffic form the Andean region through the Caribbean. Much of this traffic was displaced and now moves through “land bridge” through Central America and Mexico.

A similar effect seems to have taken place for similar reasons when it comes to Cuban migrants who try to reach the United States without a visa. For people in Miami who decide to pay alien smugglers to get Cubans out of Cuba, it seems a safer bet to pay those who bring migrants to Mexico rather than directly to U.S. shores. Better to take one’s chances passing through Mexico rather than going straight to Florida, risking interdiction by the Coast Guard and having to start the process all over again.

The Miami Herald wrote about this phenomenon last week, and there were other reports about murders of people allegedly involved in the smuggling of Cubans. AP reported on the ins and outs of smuggling via Mexico.

The official figures discussed in these articles are as follows for 2005-2007, reported by fiscal year (October 1 to September 30).

Coast Guard interdictions of Cuban migrants were 2,712 in 2005, 2,810 in 2006, and 2,049 to date in 2007, with two months left in the fiscal year.

Cubans arriving at ports of entry – this excludes legal immigrants and those who arrive on Florida beaches – numbered 8,994 in 2005, of which 7,267 came across the Mexican border; 10,329 in 2006, of which 8,639 came via Mexico; and 10,433 to date (July 22) in 2007, of which 9,296 came via Mexico.

1 comment:

leftside said...

Just to put those numbers in perspective, there are more than 1.2 people apprehended along the Mexican border. 120,000 of them are foreigners other than Mexicans Cuba ranks 7th in terms of country of origin (at least in 05).

Again the Cubans are at a vast advantage compared to any other migrant going through Mexico, in that once they cross the midway point of the Rio Grande, they can not be turned away. They are in. I suppose this trend is good for human life, but one wonders how long the US will tolerate such a blatant double standard on the Mexican border.