Facing Increasing Hardships at Home, More Affluent Migrants Rush Across Border

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More migrants illegally entering the U.S. to apply for asylum are members of South America’s middle class who fly to the border by plane, reflecting continued hardship in nations such as Brazil and Venezuela from the COVID-19 pandemic, associated economic downturns and political instability, reports the Wall Street Journal. Unlike poorer migrants from Central America and Haiti, who are released to shelters and then travel elsewhere to wait for their claims to be adjudicated, middle-class migrants often leave the shelters soon after arriving for flights they booked ahead of time.

One group of a dozen people from Venezuela said they took three flights and a bus to arrive in Algodones, a Mexican city across the border from Yuma, then walked into the U.S. through a wide gap in a border fence, turning a normally months long journey as reported by other migrants into a two-day commute. Between Oct. 1, 2020, and the end of August, about 28,000 people from Brazil were apprehended, along with about 5,500 from Venezuela, many of them middle class.

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