An increasing number of people from far-flung corners of the world have tried to sneak into the United States among the hundreds of thousands of other, mostly Latin American migrants caught at the Mexican border in the last year, according to arrest data from the Homeland Security Department.
The arrests of more than 8,000 people from India, China, Romania, Bangladesh and Nepal between October 2015 and the end of August is offering a new challenge to immigration agents tasked with fully identifying would-be immigrants and quickly deporting people caught crossing the border illegally.
The group of overseas migrants represents a tiny fraction of the more than 408,000 people caught crossing the Mexican border illegally in the last year. But the arrests suggest a rising trend in the number of migrants opting for a convoluted trek that sometimes wends across the seas to South America, over land to Central America and then through Mexico before arriving at the U.S. border illegally.
For decades Mexico dominated the discussion on illegal immigration as the country from which most immigrants went to the border illegally. But in recent years the number of Mexican nationals who have been trying to sneak into the United States has dropped.