The number of people in Latin America and the Caribbean who wish to migrate has jumped this past decade to 242 million, many eyeing the US, heightening fears about the border crisis.
In 2011, only 18 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean wanted to permanently leave their homes. By 2021, that had risen to 37 percent of the region’s 655 million people, Gallup polling shows.
The desire to migrate rose faster in South America than anywhere else in the world. By the end of 2021, the share of Latinos wishing to migrate was on par with those in poverty-wracked sub-Saharan Africa.
In some South American nations — Honduras, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic — as much as half of the total population expressed a desire to move and live abroad permanently.
In 2011, only 18 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean wanted to permanently leave their home countries. By 2021, that had risen to 37 percent of the region’s 655 million people, a Gallup survey shows
The survey comes amid record numbers of migrants trying to enter the US irregularly from Mexico, with Republicans criticizing President Joe Biden, a Democrat, over what they call his ‘loose’ or ‘open’ border.
Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a right-leaning advocacy group, said the survey revealed ‘enormous pent-up demand’ to migrate north to the US.
‘We can see how President Biden has created a dangerous and volatile situation as every month, millions more formulate the intentions and plans to try to move,’ Stein told DailyMail.com.
Migrants come from South America and the Caribbean in search of a better life for them and their families. Many are fleeing corrupt and inept leftist governments in such nations as Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
But border locals and critics of the immigration policy view the current numbers as unsustainable and balk at the prospect of hundreds of millions more also laying plans to head north.
Globally, the desire to migrate has reached ‘decade-high levels’ in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and other regions, said Gallup, which polled 127,000 people aged 15 and older across 122 countries last year.
The US remains the favored destination for the world’s migrants, though the share eyeing America has fallen slightly this past decade to 18 percent
In some South American nations — Honduras, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic — as much as half of the total population expressed a desire to move and live abroad permanently
Asylum-seeking migrants from Venezuela cross the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to US Border Patrol agents to request asylum in El Paso, Texas, late last year
President Biden, in the White House this month, is under fire over his border policy
Still, not everyone with a desire to migrate is able to do so, researchers added.
The US remains the favored destination for the world’s migrants, though the share eyeing America has dropped slightly to 18 percent this past decade. Canada, Germany, Spain and France round out the top five destinations.
In previous surveys, Gallup has found that America was the favored end point for more than a third of Latin America and the Caribbean’s would-be migrants.
The survey was released on Tuesday amid a surge of Cubans and Haitians traversing the Caribbean by boat to reach Florida’s shores, and record flows of people trying to cross the southwestern border.
The border city of Yuma, Arizona, is at breaking point with the unprecedented flow of migrants leaving the community at the brink of collapse and hospitals and food banks overloaded, local officials say.
Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines has slammed the Biden administration for its handling of the border crisis and said his county will crumble as it can’t support the cascading flow of migrants.
Customs and Border officials say there were 251,487 migrant encounters at the border in December. That’s the highest figure for a single month ever, and brings the latest three-month total up to 717,600.
Thousands of Venezuelans rallied against the government of Nicolas Maduro and demanded salary increases in Maracaibo this week. Millions have spilled across the country’s borders in recent years
Military police frisking a group of men at a checkpoint during a special operation against criminal gangs in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, last month. Many people wish to escape poverty and insecurity across Central America
Last month saw a surge in unauthorized immigration due to uncertainty over Title 42, a Trump-era policy that has expelled migrants at the border since the start of the pandemic.
Some 5 million migrants have crossed over the US southern border since January 2021 when the Biden administration took over the White House, according to the agency.
The Biden administration has launched new schemes to allow more Latinos into the US legally and advised unauthorized migrants to stay at home, but Republicans still blame him for unruly scenes at the US-Mexico frontier.
Stein said Biden’s plan to ‘parole in more people’ was no solution.
‘That merely incentivizes more to come until conditions in the US replicate those of the sending nations,’ he told DailyMail.com.
The number of migrants crossing over the US southern border since January 2021 when the Biden administration took over the White House has surged