More migrants illegally getting into the U.S. to apply for asylum are members of South America’s center class who fly to the border by aircraft, in accordance to authorities and assist staff.

While the bulk of people that come to the U.S. via Mexico are among the many world’s poorest fleeing poverty and crime, such because the 1000’s of Haitians who not too long ago shaped a makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas, the expansion in middle-class migrants displays continued hardship in nations reminiscent of Brazil and Venezuela from the COVID-19 pandemic and related financial downturns, in addition to political instability.

FILE: A pair of migrant households from Brazil move via a spot within the border wall to attain the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to search asylum.   

The U.S. authorities doesn’t preserve observe of how migrants arrive on the border or their monetary standing. But Chris T. Clem, the U.S. Border Patrol’s chief patrol agent in Yuma, mentioned brokers intercept individuals who say they not too long ago flew to a Mexican border metropolis almost day by day.

“They got off the plane and went to a cab or to a bus,” Mr. Clem mentioned of the ultimate leg of the journey to the border close to Yuma for these extra prosperous migrants. “They literally were driven up and just walked up and turned themselves over to us.”


The arrival of extra prosperous migrants signifies that the pandemic and its financial aftershocks are pushing some folks to search refuge within the U.S. who seemingly wouldn’t have come prior to now.

“The global recession really made people lose hope,” mentioned Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan Washington suppose tank. “It’s a big deal to go from being middle class in your country to be undocumented in the United States.”

South America and the Caribbean final 12 months misplaced about 26 million jobs—the most important financial contraction of any area on the earth, in accordance to the International Monetary Fund. And Brazil not too long ago surpassed 600,000 COVID-19 deaths, second on the earth solely to the U.S., in accordance to Johns Hopkins University information.