THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:
The number of African migrants heading to the U.S. through Mexico has more than doubled this year — from roughly 2,700 in 2018 to 5,800 today, according to data from the federal government.
That figure has been steadily rising since 2007 — the year the Mexican government began including migrants from African countries who have contact with immigration officials in their annual migration reports — when the number was 460.
And that dramatic increase has been mostly left out of U.S. immigration conversations, activists say.
“Even within the immigration movement, you see a lack of visibility of black narratives with what is happening at the border,” said Guerline Jozef, director and co-founder of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, an organization that helps black migrants from all over the world.
Jozef was initially caught off-guard by the number of black migrants south of the border.
In 2016 she didn’t know how to respond to a call she got about a group of Haitian migrants in Tijuana. She couldn’t understand why they were in Tijuana instead of Florida, the more traditional migration route for Caribbean migrants.
“At the time, honestly, I did not believe it,” she said.
But she went anyway and met with 12 Haitian migrants. She stayed a month and counted more than 400 black migrants from not just Haiti but Congo, Cameroon and Sierra Leone as well.