African Migration Surges as Getting Into US All But 'Certain,' NYT Reports

(John Moore/Getty Images)
January 5, 2024

The number of African migrants settling in the United States has surged in recent months given the relative ease of crossing the southern border, the New York Times reported Friday.

"Getting into the United States is certain compared to European countries, and so I came," Sekuba Keita, a 30-year-old Guinean migrant, told the Times.

Keita's journey from Guinea took him first to Turkey and then to several Latin American countries before he reached the United States.

More than 58,400 migrants from African countries—such as Mauritania, Angola, and Senegal—crossed into the United States from Mexico during fiscal year 2023, a 330 percent spike from the approximately 13,400 who arrived the previous year.

Migrants recounted to the Times that, after they surrendered to authorities, they submitted personal information at a processing facility and received a court date in the city where they said they planned to live after their release. They then contacted people they knew elsewhere in the country to arrange transport.

As Europe has become more closed to African migrants than the United States, smugglers have capitalized on the opportunity and extended their reach globally, according to the Times.

The United States has seen increasing migration from Asian countries, including China and India, the Wall Street Journal reported in November. In October, multiple people from Iran were captured at the southern border, two of whom authorities flagged as security threats.

The Times's Friday report comes days after news broke that agents encountered over 300,000 people attempting to cross the southern border illegally in December, the most of any month on record. That news came months after fiscal year 2023 became the highest on record for border crossings.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday blamed House Republicans, some of whom visited the border this week, for the problem, saying that the House took a recess in December "while Senate Republicans and Democrats, in a bipartisan way, are trying to find a bipartisan agreement to deal with border security."