NYT: Migrants crossing southern border illegally are "pandemic refugees"

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

There is a new term in use to describe those who cross the U.S.-Mexico border – pandemic refugees. The New York Times published a long article meant to explain that the historically large number of illegal migrants is partly due to the devastation the coronavirus pandemic is creating in countries around the world. Migrants are walking right through large gaps in the border wall and expecting to be allowed to stay in the U.S. when they do.


This is Joe Biden’s crisis. He promised open borders to appease the far-left in his party and he lived up to those promises beginning in his first day in the Oval Office. He made quick work of tossing aside Trump’s successful border policies. The numbers of people crossing the border are at historic levels now and they are not just coming from Northern Triangle countries via Mexico. You may have noticed in recent weeks, the reporting includes the fact that large numbers of migrants are coming from South American countries like Venezuela, as well as other countries around the world.

Illegal immigrants have come from other countries around the world in years past, it isn’t anything new from a person from Africa or Asia to make it across the southern border. It’s the number of them now that is noteworthy. Joe Biden’s polling numbers are falling, largely due to disapproval of his handling of the border crisis. Apparently the New York Times has created a new term to help Biden out. The implication isn’t that they are coming here because they have been invited to do so by Biden but because there’s a pandemic that is causing them to do so – they are pandemic refugees.

The Biden administration continues to grapple with swelling numbers of migrants along the southwestern border. In April alone, 178,622 people were encountered by the Border Patrol, the highest number in 20 years.

Most of them are from Central America, fleeing gang violence and natural disasters.

But the past few months have also brought a much different wave of migration that the Biden administration was not prepared to address: pandemic refugees.

They are people arriving in ever greater numbers from far-flung countries where the coronavirus has caused unimaginable levels of illness and death and decimated economies and livelihoods. If eking out an existence was challenging in such countries before, in many of them it has now become almost impossible.

According to official data released this week, 30 percent of all families encountered along the border in April hailed from countries other than Mexico and the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, compared to just 7.5 percent in April 2019, during the last border surge.


That is a noticeable increase from countries other than the Northern Triangle – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, besides Mexico.

The article charts a path created by destruction from the pandemic. Many fly into Mexico City from faraway locations and then make the journey to the border by bus.

At the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, agents have stopped people from more than 160 countries, and the geography coincides with the path of the virus’s worst devastation.

More than 12,500 Ecuadoreans were encountered in March, up from 3,568 in January. Nearly 4,000 Brazilians and more than 3,500 Venezuelans were intercepted, up from just 300 and 284, respectively, in January. The numbers in coming months are expected to be higher.

From India and elsewhere in Asia, they embark on Phileas Fogg journeys. Some reported taking buses in their hometowns to a big city, like Mumbai, where they boarded planes to Dubai and then connected through Moscow, Paris and Madrid, finally flying to Mexico City. From there, they embarked on the two-day bus ride to reach the Mexico-U.S. border.

They are entering Yuma, Arizona in increasingly larger numbers, according to Border Patrol. They avoid the risky desert routes or having to cross the Rio Grande River which often leads to drowning. Yuma sector law enforcement says the numbers dwarf those during the Trump administration, which were mostly from Central American countries. They are shocked at how far some have come.


The problem is that in order to qualify for asylum, certain specific criteria must be met. Simply crossing the border and asking for asylum isn’t enough. Asylum protection in the U.S. is only supposed to be granted to “those suffering persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.” Dire financial straits aren’t considered a reason for being granted asylum. It’s about proving persecution.

The increase in migrants from so many countries strains resources. Language barriers alone require special attention.

Diego Piña Lopez, who runs Casa Alitas, a shelter in Tucson, Ariz., that receives migrants from Yuma after they have been processed by the Border Patrol, has had to expand its language and cultural resources to handle the migrants passing through. “We never worked with such large numbers with this diversity,” he said, citing Arabic, Haitian Creole, Hindi and Portuguese speakers.

The crisis at the border isn’t subsiding and the border is not closed, despite the gaslighting being done by Team Biden and Biden himself. Even the NY Times admits that the increase in migration is due to word of mouth that the border is open now.

While most of the migrants do not necessarily understand the intricacies of U.S. border policy, many said in interviews that they perceived a limited-time offer to enter the United States. Friends and family members already in the country, along with smugglers eager to cash in, have assured them that they will not be turned away — and this is proving to be true.

“What we’re hearing back home is that the new president is facilitating entry, and there is demand for labor,” said Rodrigo Neto, who came from Brazil, where the pandemic killed his business and left him overwhelmed by debt. “I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”


The Biden administration officials are no longer using ankle monitors, previously used in other administrations (not just the Trump administration) and migrants are usually not even being given court dates to appear before a judge. The word is out and they are coming from around the world. Who could have possibly predicted such a crisis?

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