RIO DE JANEIRO (Xinhua) – Over 16,000 Venezuelan citizens crossed the border to Brazil and applied for refugee status in the first half of 2018. The Brazilian Federal Police said the figures were already higher than the total number of refuge requests received in the entire year of 2017, adding that there were 3,500 requests last year. According to police, 1,953 refuge requests were filed from January to June 22 in the Brazilian state of Roraima, which borders Venezuela. Roraima has the majority of immigrants. Authorities estimated there were some 25,000 Venezuelan residents in the state capital Boa Vista alone, which account for 7.5 percent of the city’s total population.