NEW YORK (AP) — It took just a few days for Monica Muquinche to reach New York after leaving Ecuador’s Andean highlands with her 10-year-old son.
She flew to Mexico City, took a bus to the U.S. border, boated across and was detained by the Border Patrol. After one night in custody in Texas she was released and then headed to the Big Apple.
“I think God protected us,” said the 35-year-old, whose husband disappeared last year while trying to make the same journey.
Muquinche is part of an extraordinary wave of Ecuadorians coming in the United States. The South American nation became, at least briefly, the fourth-largest source of unauthorized migration to the U.S. via the southern border in July, surpassing much-closer El Salvador, a more usual source of immigrants.
Other nontraditional nationalities have also shown large increases in unauthorized arrivals to the U.S.,…