Increase in Venezuelan migration is felt across US

Migrants wait to be processed by Border Patrol agents after illegally crossing the Rio Grande on Aug. 26 at Eagle Pass, Texas.

EAGLE PASS, Texas — It cost Nerio two months and everything he had to get from Venezuela to the U.S., traveling mainly by foot and watching as exhausted fellow migrants were assaulted or left behind to die.

Like an increasing number of Venezuelans, Nerio undertook a dangerous journey that included traveling through Panama’s notorious jungle, the Darien Gap, and Mexico, where migrants often face extortion and threats from government officials, in hopes of a better life in the U.S.

“We know that nobody wants us to make it here,” Nerio said last month in Eagle Pass, Texas, a city of 30,000 people that is at the center of the increase in Venezuelan migrants to the U.S. He asked that his last name not be published due to fears for his safety.