United States Customs and Border Patrol is facing a new wrinkle in their efforts to control and manage the flow of migrants across the U.S.’s southern border: a sudden influx of asylum seekers from countries in Africa. The Associated Press reports that migrants from Africa are flocking to the U.S.-Mexico border after flying into South and Central American countries.
In one recent week, border patrol apprehended at least 500 African migrants in the Del Rio sector of the border — twice the number border patrol apprehended in all of fiscal 2018 across the entire U.S.-Mexico border.
Like those immigrants coming to the border in migrant caravans, the African migrants have a plan once they hit the U.S. border. After being processed, they typically fan out to 16 U.S. cities, according to the Washington Examiner, where communities of African refugees are thriving, helped along by non-profits at the border that provide newly processed asylum seekers with paid transportation.
Most African migrants appear to be escaping human rights abuses and violent dictatorships on their home continent. Most, Border Patrol says, are from the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola, as well as Cameroon. The AP adds that, in recent weeks, border patrol has processed asylum seekers from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Sudan.
A report about the Republic of the Congo, published by the U.N.’s Joint Human Rights Commission, claims that there have been “at least 324 victims of extrajudicial or summary executions, 832 victims of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, 173 victims of rape or other sexual violence (114 women, 58 children and one man), and 431 victims of forced labor. The civilian population has been the main victim of the worsening security situation in these territories.”
The widespread violence, the U.N. says, is threatening to create a “mass displacement” of civilians; that “mass displacement” may have already begun.