January 2, 2024

We’ll be posting updates on January 2 and 3, then staff are taking a few days off. Updates will resume a daily tempo on January 11.


Sources within CBP told Fox news that the agency encountered 302,000 migrants in December, a new single-month record. The number includes both Border Patrol apprehensions and arrivals of migrants at ports of entry. (The latter have averaged just over 50,000 in recent months). The largest monthly Border-Patrol-plus-ports-of-entry amount CBP had previously reported was 269,735 in September 2023.

2023 ended with a total of 520,085 people crossing the treacherous Darién Gap between Colombia and Panama, according to Panama’s Public Security Ministry. That is more than double the 2022 total, and 120,000 of them were under age 18. “Venezuelans 328,667, Ecuadorians 57,222, Haitians 46,558 and from China 25,344 were the most recurrent nationalities crossing,” the Ministry tweeted. Monthly passage of migrants declined from October (49,256) to November (37,231) to December (24,626), repeating what may be a seasonal pattern.

Thirty-one migrants are missing, presumed kidnapped, in Mexico’s organized crime-dominated border state of Tamaulipas, where armed men in five pickup trucks stopped a bus on a highway between Monterrey and the border city of Reynosa on December 30.

In Ciudad Juárez, following a large-scale mid-December arrival of migrants aiming to cross the border into El Paso, migrant shelters are down to about 60 percent capacity as new arrivals are declining. “We expect it to increase in 15 days or within a week,” said a Ciudad Juárez shelter network spokesperson.

Their numbers reduced, participants in a “migrant caravan” that got media attention in the days after Christmas have walked about 60 miles of Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state, since December 24.

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“When a migrant does not have the resources” to pay Colombia’s Gulf Clan organized crime group for permission to cross the Darién Gap, the chief of staff of Colombia’s Navy told Caracol Radio, “we’ve had indications that women are forced to provide sexual services or they are also told that they must transport between 10 and 20 kilos of cocaine to have the right to pass through that region.”

UNHCR’s representative in Mexico says that 35,000 migrants—mainly asylum seekers—have contributed US$10 million per year in taxes to Mexico after settling in recent years in the country’s north, where employers report labor scarcity.

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