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AP documents wave of Venezuelan migrants crossing US border

A group of migrants prepare to turn themselves in to authorities after wading through the Rio Grande and crossing the U.S.-Mexico border at Del Rio, Texas, June 15, 2021. Record numbers of Venezuelans — often bankers, doctors and engineers — are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as overall migration swells. They're fleeing turmoil in the country with the world's largest oil reserves and pandemic-induced pain across South America. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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Joshua Goodman, Eric Gay and David Martin teamed up to deliver a vivid and memorable account of a new migration trend: Venezuelan migrants appearing at the U.S. border with Mexico, particularly in Del Rio, Texas. Goodman, AP’s Miami-based Latin America correspondent, noticed the development and chased down the data showing that asylum-seekers are increasingly from countries other than Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil have become major sources of of the recent migration. Among the thousands of Venezuelans who have crossed the border illegally since January are many professionals, and many who had been living for years in other South American countries, part of an exodus of nearly six million Venezuelans since President Nicolás Maduro took power in 2013.

With deep reporting on both sides of the border, editing by Courtney Bonnell and compelling visuals from both San Antonio photographer Eric Gay and New York video journalist David Martin, the all-formats package adds new insight into the long-running political and economic crisis in Venezuela, the coronavirus’s impact on migration and the large increase in asylum-seekers encountered at the U.S. border under President Joe Biden. “It is better to wash toilets here than be an engineer over there,” one migrant told AP on camera.

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