Texas’ Other Border Surge

Welcome_to_Texas_sign,_2008The immigration issue in 2015 was largely dominated by a never-ending surge of unaccompanied minors and families from Central America, followed by concerns about how to handle thousands of Syrian refugees whom our government has admitted it cannot adequately vet. Less talked about, however, was another alarming increase in individuals entering the U.S., this time, from Cuba.

The number of Cubans coming to the U.S. unlawfully has nearly doubled this last year. In fiscal year 2015, which ended September 30, 43,159 Cubans entered the U.S., representing a 78% increase over fiscal year 2014 entries. (See Pew Research Center Study, Dec. 10, 2015) In that year, only 24,278 Cubans entered the country. (Id.) In fact, the latest numbers show the highest levels of mass Cuban unlawful migration to the U.S. in more than 20 years. (NPR, Dec. 29, 2015)

Even more surprising to many, a majority entered not through Florida, but Texas. Indeed, in fiscal year 2015, two-thirds (28,371) of all Cubans came through the Laredo Sector of the U.S. border, an 82% increase from the previous fiscal year. (See Pew Research Center Study, Dec. 10, 2015). When one factors in Texas’s illegal alien population, refugee, and unaccompanied minor admissions, Texas quickly becomes one of the states most impacted by our nation’s unchecked immigration system. In addition to Texas’ estimated 1.7-1.8 million illegal aliens, it took in more refugees than any other state (7,214) in fiscal year 2014. (See Office of Refugee Resettlement Refugee Data, Feb. 11, 2015)

Read more on FAIR’s website under the STATE AND LOCAL rotator here.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar
    Jim in Virginia on

    Our leaders in congress are all jello a$$s. That 2008 law to protect children from trafficking doesn’t apply to these Central American kids crossing the border. Their families are paying smugglers to bring them to the US border, that isn’t trafficking. Why wasn’t the legislation written last year to close this loophole included in the omnibus bill passed in December? Because Republicans are just as guilty on immigration policies as Democrats. These kids and families are not being trafficked, they should be sent home right away, but they are allowed to stay and claim they are refugees. Spousal abuse is a reason to seek asylum, really?? The fix is in, there is no way we will ever get this country back.

  2. avatar

    The Cuban “refugee” policy is another prime example of agreements written by career politicians. Gee, who would think that Cubans would come via the Mexican Border? I am sure they are coming to our country by way of Canada also. How difficult would it have been to write in exceptions covering this fiasco to the law? Here lets try stating that the “dry foot/ wet foot” policy only applies to Florida and in all other cases the policy is null and the “refugee” becomes a standard issue illegal alien”. If I am an enterprising invader I will find many ways to come here. Did the politicians ever hear of parachutes?

    • avatar

      The South Florida Sun Sentinel did several articles beginning Jan. 8, 2015, titled Plundering America–The Cuban Criminal Pipeline. Among their findings were that Cuban born criminals made up 33% of the the federal arrests for credit card fraud in Florida, 72% of cargo theft, and 72% of healthcare fraud, even though Cuban born make up only 4% of Florida’s population. And are less that 1% of total national population but still are 41% of total federal arrests for healthcare fraud nationwide.

      A lot simply steal a bundle here and skip back to Cuba where the Castro brothers refuse to turn them over. Good thing this president gave Cuba the big reward of diplomatic recognition. That really paid off for us, huh? Oh wait, Cuba’s still doing their same things, including even more repression of dissidents and refusing to send indicted criminals back here.