The latest US federal statistics show that the number of Africans who have tried to get to the United States via the country’s southern border with Mexico, has doubled over 100% in 12 months.
The LA Times reports that from roughly 2,700 in 2018, the number of African migrants from the border is now about 5,800.
The numbers have been growing since 2007 when authorities said it just 460 people. The new numbers represent over 1,200% increase in 12 years.
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But the report added that in conversations about immigration in the US, the drastic increment of African immigrants at the southern border has barely featured.
The director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, a non-profit that seeks to help black immigrants from across the world, Guerline Jozef, decried the blackout on the topic of African migrants to the US.
“Even within the immigration movement, you see a lack of visibility of black narratives with what is happening at the border,” Jozef was quoted as saying.
But even Jozef and others like her have been caught off-guard by the nature of recent African and black immigration via the Mexico border.
In 2016, she was called to assist in a case involving Haitian immigrants in Tijuana. And that left her shocked because she expected immigrants from Haiti to have come through Florida.
Africans too have been part of the perilous journeys, first getting to Mexico via Guatemala.
Last month, the Black Caucus in the US Congress visited black immigrants detained at the southern border in order to create better public awareness on the issue.
Life-threatening and hazardous immigration attempts have been part of the quest for young Africans trying to get to Europe, for decades. To very little positive results, European countries have partnered with African governments to curb the trends.