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US border patrol agents in Texas have detained
hundreds of people from African countries over the past week.
US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) says the “dramatic rise” in
migrants from African countries arriving in the area is a “humanitarian
More than 500 African migrants have arrived at Del Rio border patrol sector
in the past week, since 30 May.
Most of these people are families that have travelled from Angola, Cameroon
and the Republic of Congo, CBP said.
Last week, on 30 May, one large group of 116 people who had all originally
travelled from African countries arrived at the southern border.
In a statement, Del Rio Sector’s chief patrol agent Raul L Ortiz said that
language barriers and cultural differences were also placing “additional
burdens on [border patrol] processing stations”.
Many of the migrants have also travelled on to San Antonio in Texas, some
240 km (150 miles) from Del Rio.
A spokeswoman for San Antonio’s city government told BBC News that they were
“operating a resource centre for those travelling” and have
“partnered up with local charities” to provide people with
necessities such as food and shelter.
Local news reporter Jaleesa Irizarry also tweeted that the city was “in
desperate need for French-speaking volunteers”, and that local centres
expected up to 300 more migrants to arrive in the next few days.
City confirms hundreds of migrants from the
Congo have arrived in SA. The city is in desperate need for French speaking
It is not clear exactly what route they are taking.
However, in a recent interview with NPR, some African migrants described
travelling from their home countries to Brazil before making their way north
through Colombia and Central America towards the US-Mexico border. Such a
journey typically takes several months.
According to the CBP’s acting commissioner John Sanders, the agency is
currently detaining almost 19,000 people in total.
“When we have 4,000 people in custody, we consider it high,” he
told a press conference. “If there’s 6,000 people in custody, we
considered it a crisis. Right now, we have nearly 19,000 people in custody. So
it’s just off the charts.”
In May, a record 144,278 migrants arrived at the southern border, more than
100,000 of whom were families and children.
Since September last year, six children have died in US custody after being
detained by border patrol agents.