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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Maritime smuggling of people to the U.S. is on the rise toward California and Florida, with two recent capsized boats near San Diego and Key West showing the deadly consequences.

Why it matters: Experts stress that for several years toughened security has not decreased migration, just made adult migrants seek other, more dangerous paths.

  • The Coast Guard reports a 50% rise in people trying to migrate by sea, with over 7,500 detained trying to do so during the 2020 fiscal year.
    • Border officials say sea interdictions have gone up 80% in the Caribbean and 92% in the Pacific.
  • Drowning and presumed drowning were among the top causes of death recorded by the International Organization for Migration in the Americas region during 2020.

This May, four migrants died in two separate incidents near the San Diego coast when the smuggling boats overturned.

  • Two Cuban migrants died and 10 others were lost at sea near Florida late last month.
  • Smugglers use outdated vessels that lack safety equipment or potable water. They often sail at night, when tides are higher and patrols are fewer, officials say.

Between the lines: Families pay up to $16,000 to sea coyotes for trips on dinghies or fishing vessels, Noticias Telemundo reports.

The big picture: Crossings on foot are becoming deadlier. A record number of people died in 2020 going through remote areas of the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Immigrating through legal channels can take 2 to 24 years with no assured outcome.
  • Requesting asylum has also become more difficult. The former administration ruled victims of domestic and gang violence, for example, were ineligible for asylum, despite evidence of significant and ongoing trauma, per a report from UCLA and Physicians for Human Rights.

Go deeper

Federal judge blocks Biden administration's use of Title 42 policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a public health order that fast-tracked deportations of migrant families at the southern border.

Why it matters: President Biden has faced significant backlash for retaining the Trump-era policy, which was implemented as a COVID containment measure. The expulsions deny adult migrants and families the chance for asylum.

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.