According to officials I spoke with, three out of four of those crossing the borders are “OTMs–the term for “Other Than Mexican.” At least one in four are children, 45 to 50 percent are family units, and the male/female ratio is roughly 60-40.
Although the current wave of border crossers is primarily from Central America, people from more than 140 different countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, have crossed the southern border. Earlier this month, 33 people from China were apprehended.
As to why so many from Central America are coming now, a top border offical told me, “They recognize they’ve overwhelmed the system. And they know they are going to be released and told to report, but a very minimal number of them ever do.” In other words, those released to family members in the U.S. are supposed to report to the local immigration and customs office once settled to begin their deportation process, but few ever do.