The chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is sounding the alarm about the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
During an interview on Capitol Hill, Arizona Democrat Rep. Raul Ruiz said it’s a “humanitarian dilemma” and that Kamala Harris needs to visit the border
Below is a partial transcript of the interview:
BALLASY: “And also, since you’re the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I was wondering what’s your take on the Republicans who are saying that Kamala Harris and the administration need to pay more attention to what’s going on at the border and that Harris specifically should visit the border? Should she visit in person, though, to the border, and see the situation up close, in person?”
RUIZ: “Look, I’m sure that someday she will. If you’re going to be strategic, right, she’s tasked with addressing the root causes of migration north. You don’t find the root causes at a CBP station at the border, you find the root causes by speaking to individuals who have fled. You speak to the leaders of local organizations, of the countries that they’re fleeing, of industry leaders and human rights activists, and that’s exactly what she’s doing.”
BALLASY: “Do you think it’s a crisis, the border situation right now?”
RUIZ: “Look, I think it’s a humanitarian dilemma. And for me, for a family who leaves their country under threat of their daughters being raped, or their son being violently recruited into a cartel or a gang, and having to send your children north for safety, knowing that there’s risk in doing that, but that risk is much less than the risk if they stay at home — that’s the crisis. The crisis is when you’re a parent and you don’t know how you’re going to feed your children because of the hurricanes, Eta and Iota, induced from these climate changes, and you know that because you’re going to get more hurricanes and more and more frequent and intense hurricanes that devastated their agricultural industry, so they’re suffering hunger. And they don’t see a way where it’s going to improve, and they’ve lost hope, and they’re going to where the food is — that’s the crisis. So when you deal with that crisis and the root causes, then you’re going to decrease the reasons why people are taking that dangerous trip north and making that desperate decision to do so.”
The number of people attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border from countries beyond Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle is surging.
According to a new report, a shopping 33,000 migrants have flocked to the U.S. border from Haiti, Cuba, Romania, and India.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection flagged more than 173,000 encounters with migrants at the nation’s southern border in April, up from just over 17,000 last year and 109,000 in 2019.
More than 33,000 of those migrants came from outside El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico.
According to an in-depth report by Axios, approximately 30 percent of all family members who crossed the border in April came from less-typical countries of origin, such as India and Romania, and the influx could mark the beginning of “a more permanent shift in U.S. border migration.”
Last month, the Border Patrol encountered more than 33,000 people crossing into the U.S. from nations other than Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, according to Department of Homeland Security data.
That’s up from about 9,000 in January.
It’s also an increase of 35% from March — even as numbers from the Northern Triangle fell slightly during that time period. It’s also 2.5 times the number who crossed in June 2019, which was the highest month of the previous three fiscal years.
30% of all family members who crossed the border in April came from these less-typical countries of origin.
The report added:
Border agents have encountered migrants from more than 160 countries in recent months, the New York Times reported, with notable spikes in Ecuadorians, Brazilians, and Venezuelans.
The Customs and Border Protection agency confirmed to Congress in March that four people arrested at the border since Oct. 1 match names on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database.
Three were from Yemen and one was from Serbia.