Hundreds of Central African refugees, many fleeing violence back home from countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, arrived in the U.S. this week. Roughly 300 of those migrants have been processed in San Antonio by a city-run, nonprofit Migrant Resource Center, according to the New York Times.
Months of travel took them from Central Africa to South America and Central America, eventually to the U.S., according to the Times.
The surge of African refugees comes amid a spike in Central American migrants entering the U.S. who are also fleeing from violence and poverty.
In the Congo, where many of the migrants are from, insurgent and government fighting in recent years has displaced millions of Congolese. As of 2019, more than 800,000 have left the country, according to figures from the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, through a re-tweet of FOX News’ Sean Hannity, is billing the arrival of the asylum seekers in Texas as an “emergency.”
Why the sudden migration to the U.S.?
“The migrant crisis at the U.S. border has been so well-publicized, and because of all the chaos over policymaking in Washington, D.C., it really gives the impression that the U.S. border is open for business right now,” Randy Capps, director of research for U.S. programs at the Migration Policy Institute told NPR.
In May, more than 144,00 migrants, many seeking asylum, were arrested or surrendered to border agents, the highest number in more than a decade.
The majority of those migrants have entered through El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley. In El Paso, conditions have gotten so bad hundreds of migrants are being held in an outdoor detention camp under a bridge.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com