It's not just migrants from Latin America crossing the southern border. New federal data shows the number of Africans heading to the U.S. through Mexico has more than doubled this year.
That's roughly 5,800 people from the Congo, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and other countries.
“There has been an uptick not just of Africans, but people coming from China, from Cuba, from other points across the globe who all understand the vulnerability of our asylum policies and are taking advantage,” says Ira Mehlman, spokesperson for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
That window of opportunity is what's driving so many to cross the Atlantic, rather than heading north into Europe.
“The Europeans have toughened up on abuse of asylum on the continent there, so they're looking for the United States as an alternative,” says Mehlman.
Unfortunately for them, Mehlman says the Trump administration has convinced Mexico to hold migrants there and force them to apply for asylum before even crossing the border.
“Before people spend their life's savings, put their lives in the hands of criminal cartels that smuggle human beings, they need to be aware that it's not going to pay off,” he says.“ That will deter people