In recent weeks, a record number of African migrants have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, fleeing from political persecution and economic hardship.
During one week, Border Patrol agents in Texas' Del Rio sector stopped more than 500 African migrants; only 211 African migrants were detained along the entire southern border during the 2018 fiscal year, The Associated Press reports. Most of the migrants are from the Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Cameroon. They fly to South America from Africa, then travel by land to the U.S.-Mexico border, with many seeking asylum at ports of entry.
Migrants from Cameroon have said they fly to Ecuador because there is no visa requirement, and it takes about four months to get from there to Tijuana. While in Panama, they are often robbed, AP reports, and held in camps run by the government.
Over the last several days, 170 asylum seekers were bused to Portland, Maine, where Somali refugees were resettled in the 1990s. Hundreds more are expected to arrive in the near future. Catherine Garcia