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"Invasion" (Video)

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On one of the world’s most dangerous migrant routes, a cartel makes millions off the American dream

 Darién Gap, Colombia and Panama (CNN) — There is always a crowd, but it can feel very lonely.

To get closer to freedom, they have risked it all.

Masked robbers and rapists. Exhaustion, snakebites, broken ankles. Murder and hunger.

Having to choose who to help and who to leave behind.

The trek across the Darién Gap, a stretch of remote, roadless, mountainous rainforest connecting South and Central America, is one of the most popular and perilous walks on earth.

Almost 250,000 people made the crossing in 2022, fueled by economic and humanitarian disasters – nearly double the figures from the year before, and 20 times the annual average from 2010 to 2020. Early data for 2023 shows six times as many made the trek from January to March, 87,390 compared to 13,791 last year, a record, according to Panamanian authorities.

 They all share the same goal: to make it to the United States.

And they keep coming, no matter how much harder that dream becomes to realize.

A team of CNN journalists made the nearly 70-mile journey by foot in February, interviewing migrants, guides, locals and officials about why so many are taking the risk, braving unforgiving terrain, extortion and violence.

The route took five days, starting outside a Colombian seaside town, traversing through farming communities, ascending a steep mountain, cutting across muddy, dense rainforest and rivers before reaching a government-run camp in Panama. ...............



CBP: 82 Individuals on Terror Watchlist Caught Crossing U.S.-Mexico Border So Far in FY2023

"I anticipate terminating the national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic on May 11, 2023," President Joe Biden said in February.

The end of the COVID emergency means that Title 42, the public health authority, will no longer be used as grounds to immediately expel illegal border-crossers.

As the March numbers suggest, the anticipated end of Title 42 next month may prompt another surge at the nation's borders.

Terrorist watchlist

Of particular concern is the growing number of people on the terrorist watchlist apprehended between ports of entry.

CBP says in the first six months of Fiscal Year 2023, 80 people named in the Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS) have been apprehended between ports of entry at the southwest border; and 2 have been apprehended at the northern border, for a total of 82 so far this fiscal year.

CBP apprehended a total of 98 people with TSDS records in all of Fiscal Year 2022 -- all 98 at the southwest border.

Of course, no one knows how many suspected terrorists evade detection...................


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