Pelosi: Immigration reform is moral responsibility

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she sees comprehensive immigration reform as Congress’ moral responsibility. Pelosi and a congressional delegation visited Central America and migrant detention facilities in McAllen, Texas. (Aug. 12)

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Trump: Guatemala signs deal restricting asylum

Donald Trump says Guatemala is signing an agreement to restrict asylum applications to the US from Central America. The so-called “safe-third agreement” would require migrants who cross into Guatemala to apply for protections there. (July 26)

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Mexico migrant centers experience increased overcrowding | AFP

My Mexican workers build new reception spaces at a migrant shelter, while another association piles tents in a hangar as migrants seeking asylum in the United States continue to come to Tijuana, whether they are driven back from US territory or have just arrived from Central America.

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Polls open for Guatemala’s presidential election | AFP

Guatemalans are set to elect a new president Sunday after gang violence, poverty and streams of US-bound migrants have dominated campaigning in Central America’s most populous country, where a crowded field of 19 candidates is vying to succeed outgoing president Jimmy Morales. IMAGES

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Migrants at the Border Feel They Have No Choice But to Enter the U.S. Illegally (HBO)

EL PASO, Texas — In the two hours before sunset on a recent afternoon, Border Patrol agents working the line between Ciudad Juárez and El Paso saw more than 100 migrants step over the Rio Grande and into the United States.

They were nearly all families traveling together from Central America seeking asylum, and they crossed in groups ranging from six people to 40. When they spotted Border Patrol vehicles, they calmly walked over to turn themselves in — the first step to requesting asylum for those who enter the country illegally.

Carlos, a migrant from Honduras who crossed the border carrying a pale and coughing toddler, said he had initially planned to cross legally through an official port of entry. But out of the tens of thousands of people waiting, the U.S. allows in only a small percentage of asylum seekers on any given day.

“The truth is that my son couldn’t wait,” said Carlos. “He is very sick.”

The number of people found crossing the border illegally has shot up dramatically since the beginning of the year. In April, according to data released last week by CBP, the number nearly hit 100,000 — the highest it’s been in 12 years.

That’s as clear an indication as possible that the Trump administration’s strategy to deter Central American asylum seekers — which includes metering at ports of entry, expanded detention, and forcing families back to Mexico to wait out their asylum cases — has failed. VICE News went to the border to find out why.

This segment originally aired May 15, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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Video: large group of migrants crosses into US

U.S. Border Patrol officials say 360 migrants have surrendered to agents in Arizona. Border Patrol camera operators spotted the group Tuesday morning. Authorities say most were women and children from Central America. (April 17)

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Migrants from Central America kept behind barbed-wire fence in Texas

Footage filmed on Wednesday shows hundreds of migrant families from Central America being held in a pen beneath an underpass, in El Paso, Texas, as they were waiting to be processed by US immigration officials.

The makeshift encampment was set up in a parking lot of a Border Patrol station, beneath the Paso del Norte Bridge. Footage shows migrants cramped in the encampment, behind fence and barbed wire. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9r3e

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Trump’s Plan To Deter Asylum Seekers Creates A New Border Crisis (HBO)

Last Tuesday morning, Catardo Gómez stepped from the United States into Mexico, looked around briefly in confusion, and was immediately swarmed by microphones and cameras.

He’d made history simply by walking onto the other side of El Chaparral, a pedestrian border crossing connecting San Diego with Tijuana. Gómez was the first migrant sent back under a new Trump administration program, called the Migrant Protection Protocol, which requires asylum seekers to wait out their cases in Mexico instead of the U.S.

“I’m going straight to the place where I’m staying,” Gómez told the scrum of reporters before being hustled into a van by Mexican immigration agents. “I’m tired.”

Soon, more migrants from Central America like Gómez will be forced to make the trek back over the border as they wait for their asylum cases, which the US is required by domestic and international law to hear in full before it deports asylum seekers back to their home countries. If the program is fully implemented, the implications could be massive.

Most asylum seekers who enter the U.S. through the southern border, either by presenting themselves at a port of entry or crossing illegally and surrendering to Border Patrol agents, wait in the United States while their asylum cases proceed through the severely backlogged immigration court system, which can take months or years.

But now, a growing number will be forced to wait out the process in Mexican border cities, which are often beset by the same problems of violence and poverty that migrants fled in the first place. Some are likely to give up and return home as a result, and both supporters and critics of the program say such a deterrent effect is part of its design.

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