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Expand chart
Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios. Note: South American nations included are Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador

Border officials are encountering migrants from more distant countries, rather than just Mexico or the Northern Triangle, according to the latest public figures from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

Why it matters: These longer journeys to the U.S.-Mexico border underscore the desperate situation many migrants face in their home countries, as well as the multi-dimensional diplomatic, economic and moral challenge the United States faces trying to control their flow north.

  • There tends to be an uptick in migrants from further-flung nations during border surges.
  • But the number of encounters with migrants from countries other than Mexico or the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have surpassed the peak of the 2019 crisis now for four months in a row.
  • The far-flung journeys increase the dangers faced by the migrants as well as their risk of exploitation by smugglers.

By the numbers: At the start of the year, migrants from Nicaragua and a handful of South American nations made up just 6% of people encountered by border officials. Last month, they accounted for 18% — three times more.

  • There's been a rise in migrants traveling from South America through the treacherous Darién Gap into Panama, as Axios previously reported.
  • While the percentage of encounters with migrants who are Haitian or Cuban has hovered around 4% recently, the number is 2.5 times the figure from January.
  • Border officials had nearly 9,000 encounters with Haitians and Cubans last month.

Go deeper

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.

Scramble over gas for EU as Russia threatens Ukraine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.

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