We have all seen the reports that as many as two million illegal entrants will cross the southern (land) border this year, but such arrivals by sea are also increasing, if in smaller numbers.
An indirect measure of this trend is shown by how many apprehensions have been recorded by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) — that nation’s grandiosely named coast guard. These islands lie between Haiti and Florida, the route taken by boat-carrying Haitians (and some Cubans) seeking illegal access to the States.
Reuters, the British news agency, has reported that so far this calendar year the RBDF has apprehended 2,250 aliens, compared to 2,235 for all of 2019 to 2021. These numbers suggest that this year the Bahamian apprehensions are running at about 4.5 times the rate of earlier years; a projected 3,400 for this year, as opposed to an average of 745 in the three previous years.
The RBDF, presumably funded in part by the States, is not inhibited by the kinds of restraints inflicted on our immigration authorities — no asylum system, no court dates years from now, just a quick return to the homeland for the aliens involved.
The Bahamas route is one of four maritime illegal-alien routes known to me. Once upon a time, large numbers of Cubans crossed to Florida in small boats, but the numbers have fallen in recent years.
Two other sea routes are from Haiti and the Dominican Republic (which share the island of Hispaniola) eastward to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and around the barrier just south of San Diego. I do not recall much, if any, traffic along the Texas barrier islands near Brownsville, or across the Great Lakes. Maybe it is happening successfully, in which case it would not be reported.
Illegal aliens, by and large, are not swimmers, as we learn from time to time when they are either drowned (or rescued by the Border Patrol) as they seek to cross either the Rio Grande or some canals at various parts of the southern border.
Aliens who seek to enter without inspection are, primarily, landlubbers, but the sea-borne ones also are increasing.