Record number of families from Brazil detained at U.S.-Mexico border

The number of families attempting to enter the U.S. illegally has hit a record in the past 12 months - fiscal year running from October 2020 through September 2021 - with 483,846 reaching U.S. borders. Among the families are Brazilians, who jumped from 6,414 in 2020 to 43,867 in 2021 - representing 75.5% of the total detained at the border.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - "What used to be almost exclusively Mexican migration changed in 2019 with the amount of people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Poverty and violence were the main drivers. Another main difference was the strategy of traveling as a family, which increases overall numbers," says Harvard College of Education professor Gabrielle Oliveira.

Traveling as a family theoretically improves the chance of staying in the U.S., according to the professor. "Qualitative research shows a school district where the amount of Brazilian children in schools has tripled, for example. So there are more family groups arriving than . . .

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