PORTLAND, Maine – Undaunted by a journey over thousands of miles, people fleeing economic privation and human rights abuses in African countries are coming to the United States in unprecedented numbers.
Border agents and officials in Texas and even in Maine are scrambling to absorb them. Mexico, on the overland route to America, is on pace to tripling the number of African immigrants it is processing this year, up from 2,100 in 2017.
In one recent week, U.S. border patrol agents stopped more than 500 African migrants in Texas. They were from the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.
Word has spread among migrants that Portland, Maine, is a welcoming place. A total of 170 asylum seekers arrived in recent days. Hundreds more are expected.