US border sees crush of migrants from Peru

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US border sees crush of migrants from Peru

Political instability in Peru is prompting migrants from the country to flock to the US southern border — adding to the already chaotic situation there as the end of Title 42 looms, The Post has learned.

In the first six months this year, 8,262 Peruvians — who are rarely seen trying to enter the US illegally — have been apprehended at the southern crossing, according to data obtained by The Post.

That’s more than double the Peruvians who arrived at the border in 2021, when 3,197 immigrants from that country were intercepted by federal agents.

Historically, the amount of Peruvians arriving at the border has been even lower. Most immigrants entering the country illegally are from Mexico, Guatemala or Honduras.

Peru is dealing with political instability, widespread corruption, the highest inflation since 1998 and protests that may be driving illegal immigration to the US, says Peruvian activist Andres Urbano.

Chart showing Peruvian immigrants
Peruvian immigrants at the southern border have increased dramatically in 2022.
NY Post Illustration
Alison, a one year old migrant from Peru, is held by her mother Selma as they navigate a trail in the dark after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States.
Alison, a one year old migrant from Peru, is held by her mother Selma as they navigate a trail in the dark after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States.
Adrees Latif/REUTERS

“No one knows if Peru is the next Venezuela or Cuba,” Urbano told The Post Tuesday. “There’s a high level of distrust with the government, and parents and young people alike see an uncertainty about what their future holds in Peru.”

Peru’s embattled president was nearly impeached over the weekend after nearly missing a deadline set by Congress to return to the country from Ecuador, reported MSN.com. Congress has already voted to remove President Pedro Castillo twice in the nine months he’s been in office.

“You can be assaulted and robbed on the street, including lose your life over a cell phone someone wants to steal from you. Crime is on the rise and police don’t have control over it,” Urbano explained. “Sicarios and organized crime are more and more common. Criminals can buy their freedom even if they’re arrested.

Migrants from Peru and Guatemala seeking asylum in the U.S. turn themselves in to the U.S. border patrol agent.
Migrants from Peru and Guatemala turn themselves in to US border patrol agents as they seek asylum.
Go Nakamura/REUTERS

“Peru is descending into anarchy. On the face of it, the country has a constitutional government, but really it’s anarchy. No one knows how it’s going to end.”

On top of that, the country has seen violent protests over mining, a major part of Peru’s economy, between indigenous workers and mine personnel — adding more fuel to an already volatile situation, according to Bloomberg.

Peruvians are arriving at a time when immigration levels at the US southern border are at record levels. The government projects as many as 18,000 undocumented immigrants a day could arrive at the border when Title 42 is lifted.

Urbano, part of a Latin-American association in San Antonio, Texas who works with Peruvians immigrants, doesn’t believe immigration from Peru will let up any time soon.

“Peruvians are afraid the doors will close, and they won’t be able to leave the country if things get really bad,” he said. “They’ve made up their minds this is their best shot and fear of crossing the desert or other dangers of crossing illegally isn’t going to stop them.”

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