Surge in Illegal Border Crossings Dominated by Venezuelans According to September Data

by Andrew Wright
Illegal Border Crossings

For the first time in recorded history, Venezuelans have overtaken Mexicans as the largest nationality detained for unlawful entry into the United States. Data released this past Saturday reveals that September experienced the second-highest volume of detentions for individuals from all nationalities attempting to cross the U.S. border.

In September alone, 54,833 Venezuelans were apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol following their illegal entry from Mexico. This number represents a marked increase from the 22,090 arrests in August and far surpasses the prior monthly peak of 33,749 detentions in September of the previous year.

The total number of arrests for individuals of all nationalities illegally entering from Mexico was 218,763 in September, an increase of 21% compared to 181,084 in August. This figure is nearing the historical high of 222,018 detentions set in December of the previous year. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of detentions for the fiscal year ending on September 30 exceeded 2 million for the second consecutive year, although it was down 7% from a record high of over 2.2 million during the same period the previous year.

Triggered by a decade-long crisis that is political, economic, and humanitarian in nature, more than 7 million Venezuelans have fled their homeland. Initially, these migrants sought refuge in neighboring Latin American countries, but in the last three years, they have increasingly been relocating to major U.S. cities such as New York and Chicago.

The Biden administration recently declared that nearly 500,000 Venezuelans present in the United States as of July 31 would be granted temporary legal status. However, it also affirmed that those entering illegally post-July 31 and failing to secure asylum would be deported. As part of a renewed diplomatic engagement with the Venezuelan government led by Nicolás Maduro, a historic opponent, the administration has initiated deportation flights to Venezuela.

Troy Miller, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, stated that the U.S. enhanced its resources and manpower along the border in September. “Our ongoing engagements with both domestic and international partners aim to address the unprecedented levels of migration throughout the hemisphere, including the appearance of large migrant groups on freight trains, as well as facilitating direct repatriations to Venezuela,” he noted.

Historically dominated by Mexicans, the demographic makeup of illegal border crossings has evolved over the past decade to include Central Americans and, more recently, individuals from South America, Africa, and Asia. In September, Mexicans were arrested 39,733 times, trailing significantly behind Venezuelans, while Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Colombians completed the top five.

The rising numbers have been seized upon by Republicans as evidence of a persisting crisis at the border, with key presidential candidates emphasizing it as a central issue for the upcoming elections. “The fiscal year has concluded, yet the historic crisis provoked by Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ policies at our Southwest border continues unabated,” said Representative Mark Green of Tennessee, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee.

The Biden administration recently unveiled a $106 billion spending package, of which approximately $14 billion is designated for border security. The administration maintains that a long-term resolution to the border situation necessitates Congressional intervention. It has concurrently established new legal avenues for seeking asylum, while imposing restrictions on those who do not comply.

Data reveals that around 43,000 migrants entered the United States at land crossings with Mexico in September through a mobile application called CBP One, making the total number of entries via this platform close to 278,000 since its launch in January. Additionally, more than 265,000 individuals from countries such as Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela entered the U.S. through airports in September after applying online and securing financial sponsorship.

Including these lawful routes, the overall number of border crossings reached a new all-time monthly record of 269,735 in September and a new fiscal-year record of nearly 2.5 million.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Illegal Border Crossings

What nationality recently overtook Mexicans as the most arrested for illegal border crossings into the U.S.?

Venezuelans have recently become the most arrested nationality for illegal border crossings into the United States, according to data released for September.

How many Venezuelans were arrested for illegally crossing the U.S. border in September?

In September, 54,833 Venezuelans were apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol for illegally entering from Mexico.

How many arrests were made in total for all nationalities crossing from Mexico in September?

The total number of arrests for all nationalities illegally entering from Mexico in September was 218,763.

What actions has the Biden administration taken regarding Venezuelan migrants?

The Biden administration recently announced temporary legal status for nearly 500,000 Venezuelans who were already in the United States as of July 31. It also initiated deportation flights to Venezuela as part of a diplomatic thaw with the government of Nicolás Maduro.

How has the demographic makeup of illegal border crossings changed over time?

Historically, Mexicans accounted for the majority of illegal border crossings. However, over the last decade, the demographics have shifted to include more Central Americans and, recently, individuals from South America, Africa, and Asia.

What is the political response to the latest border crossing numbers?

Republicans have seized on the latest numbers, with key presidential candidates emphasizing border security as a central issue for the upcoming elections. Representative Mark Green of Tennessee, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, cited the crisis as ongoing and blamed the policies of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

How much funding has the Biden administration proposed for border security?

The Biden administration has proposed about $14 billion for border security as part of a $106 billion spending package.

What is CBP One, and how is it being used?

CBP One is a mobile application that migrants can use to enter the United States at land crossings with Mexico. About 43,000 migrants used this platform in September, bringing the total to nearly 278,000 since its introduction in January.

What are the all-time high numbers for border crossings?

The all-time high number of detentions for a single month is 222,018, recorded in December of the previous year. The overall number of crossings, including legal pathways, reached a new all-time monthly record of 269,735 in September and a fiscal-year record of nearly 2.5 million.

More about Illegal Border Crossings

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Monthly Reports
  • Biden Administration’s Immigration Policies
  • Current Crisis in Venezuela: Causes and Impact
  • Analysis: Shift in Demographics of Illegal Border Crossings
  • Political Debate on U.S. Border Security
  • CBP One Mobile App: An Overview
  • U.S. Congressional Response to Border Crisis

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StatMan October 22, 2023 - 6:42 am

The numbers are skyrocketing, no doubt. But what’s behind this? Is it just the crisis in Venezuela or are there other factors? Would like to see more analysis on that.

Political_Analyst October 22, 2023 - 5:08 pm

Quite a shift in demographics, isn’t it? Seems like both parties will use this as a talking point in the upcoming elections.

JaneDoe October 22, 2023 - 5:38 pm

Wow, never thought I’d see the day when Venezuelans would outnumber Mexicans in illegal border crossings. What’s going on in Venezuela must be really bad.

HumanRightsAdvocate October 22, 2023 - 10:33 pm

Let’s not forget the humanitarian aspect here. people are fleeing for a reason. We should look at addressing the root causes too.

GlobalWatcher October 22, 2023 - 10:39 pm

Quite alarming to see such a surge. not just from Latin America but Africa and Asia too? This is a global issue.

Tech_Guru October 23, 2023 - 4:09 am

The CBP One app seems like an interesting development. Wonder how secure and effective it actually is.

EmilyQ October 23, 2023 - 4:27 am

The GOP is gonna have a field day with this one, esp. with elections coming up. But what are the Dems planning to counter this? Anybody know?

SarahS October 23, 2023 - 4:34 am

temporary legal status for half a million Venezuelans but then deporting new ones? Seems kinda contradictory to me.

Econ_Expert October 23, 2023 - 5:32 am

14 billion for the border, huh? That’s a lot of taxpayer money. They better come up with a long-term solution.

MarkT October 23, 2023 - 5:59 am

this is crazy numbers, man. 54k Venezuelans in just one month? something needs to be done ASAP


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