Check out this sensational story, from the front page at today's Los Angeles Times, "Africans, Asians, Haitians: The sharp rise in non-Latin American migrants trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico":
One morning in January, five men from Nepal showed up at the Casa del Migrante in Tijuana, looking for a bed for the night.And here's a personal story:
That’s odd, the shelter’s director, Father Patrick Murphy, remembers thinking.
This border city has been a gateway to generations of migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Mexico and Central America, people dreaming of a better life in the United States.
But Nepal was 8,000 miles away. What were they doing here?
Within months, Tijuana would be teeming with migrants from across the globe — from Haiti, India, Bangladesh and various parts of Africa — all hoping to reach the U.S.
In a surge Mexican officials are calling unprecedented, some 15,000 migrants from outside Latin America passed through Baja California this year — nearly five times the number seen in 2015.
More than a third of the detainees being held in California immigration holding centers in September were from outside Latin America, U.S. officials say.
As they traverse a circuitous and dangerous path up the spine of South America, Central America and Mexico, they have strained resources along the route and presented new challenges for securing America’s southern border.
Emmanuel Ngunyi arrived in Tijuana on a flight from Mexico City, where he had spent a few days recovering from a tortuous journey that began with a flight from Cameroon to Ecuador and continued overland through half a dozen countries.Interesting that these migrants are coming here. You know, they could always emigrate to Angela Merkel's Germany, before the Germans pull the welcome mat.
A member of Cameroon’s English-speaking minority, the 25-year-old had been jailed twice for supporting a banned secessionist movement. The second time was the worst, he said. His jailers tied him from a ceiling and raped him with a candle.
If he could make it to the U.S., he was convinced, “My life will be secure.”
Some countries were easy to get through, even without a visa. Officials were issuing permits to transiting migrants giving them a few days to cross their territory. But other places — Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama — had closed their borders to the migrants. He had to enlist the help of smugglers to cross vast stretches of jungle, swampland and mountains on foot.
In all, it took Ngunyi two months to reach Mexico and cost him nearly $10,000. It was mid-May when he landed in Tijuana, and the early morning chill made him shiver.
He tried to hire a taxi from the airport to the border, but got into an argument with the driver, who he said grabbed his phone and pushed him out of the car. So he decided to walk the last few miles.
There was a long line of people waiting to use the pedestrian crossing at San Ysidro. He walked to the front and told the first police officer he saw: “I want to request asylum in the United States.”
“Do you see people like you here?” the officer barked at him. He was sent to the back of the line.
When he made it to the front, he was escorted into the port of entry to wait for an interview with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The wait lasted most of the day, and he fell asleep on the tile floor.
At last, it was his turn to be questioned. An official asked his name, what country he came from, his address.
Then another official burst into the room. “No, no, no, we don’t have space for them,” he recalled her saying. “Back to Mexico. All of them back to Mexico.”
It was past midnight when Ngunyi found himself once again in Tijuana, the gate to America swinging shut behind him...
And stories like this are only going to bolster the GOP's case for securing the border. Donald Trump's got the pulse of the nation in this issue. It's why he's taking office on January 20th.