Migrants cross Honduras and head to Mexico, US | AFP

Streams of hopeful migrants cross Honduras as they head towards Mexico and the US, making it difficult for the Central American country to fulfil its designation as a safe third country by temporarily accepting U.S.-bound asylum seekers.

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Migrant protesters block bridge between Mexico and the US | AFP

Hundreds of Central American migrants occupy a bridge between the Mexican border city of Matamoros and Brownsville, Texas, and call on U.S. authorities to speed up asylum procedures.

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Guatemalan voters react to conservative Giammattei win | AFP

Guatemalan voters react a day after conservative Alejandro Giammattei was elected president, sweeping to victory on promises to stem mass migrations to the United States by combating poverty, corruption and violence in the Central American country.

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Africans flee to South America on journey to US

Hundreds of Africans are joining Central American migrants on the long, dangerous journey for seeking asylum in the US. One family shares their experience after fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo through South America. (July 16)

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Trump signs $4.6 billion border aid package

President Donald Trump signed a $4.6 billion aid package on Monday to help the federal government cope with the surge of Central American immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. (July 1)

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Nicaragua, new frontrunner on the world cigar market | AFP

Cuban entrepreneurs who fled the Castro-led revolution around 50 years ago spread their savoir-faire for cigars through Nicaragua and now this Central American country is one of the top tobacco producers in Latin America and leads the number of exports to the United States. For cigar-maker Nestor Plasencia, his company “gives joy to the people.”

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From El Salvador to Texas, navigating the US asylum maze | AFP

After leaving her home in El Salvador, Yolanda, like thousands of Central American migrants, is seeking asylum in the United States. Separated from her teenage daughter and year-old grandson at the border, she is now waiting for a court hearing that, she hopes, will bring them together again.

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Mexico detains 791 migrants, including 368 children under eight | AFP

A total of 791 Central American migrants, including 368 children under the age of eight, have been detained in the Mexican state of Veracruz, officials say.

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Central American migrants cross over Mexico’s southern border | AFP

Central American migrants cross into Mexico from Guatemala via the Suchiate river as others await on the border to normalize their situation, amid speculation about the contents of Mexico’s deal to curb migration in order to avert President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs.

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Central American migrants detained on Mexico’s southern border | AFP

Authorities on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala detain undocumented Central American migrants hoping to reach the US, amid speculation about the contents of Mexico’s deal to curb migration in order to avert President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs. IMAGES

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Mexican artist unveils protest ‘United States of Immigrants’ flag | AFP

A Mexican artist displays giant US flags inscribed with the words “United States of Immigrants” on the border fence between the two countries in an effort “to raise awareness,” just as Mexico scrambles to slow the flow of Central American migrants to the US to head off President Donald Trump’s threat of potentially catastrophic tariffs on Mexican goods.

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Mexico blocks new caravan of Central American migrants | AFP

Authorities block a new caravan of Central American migrants after they entered Mexico bound for the United States, as the government scrambled to dodge President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs over undocumented immigration.

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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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What It’s Really Like At The US-Mexico Border

We spent a day on the US-Mexico border with the US Border Patrol in El Paso, TX where the agency is overwhelmed by the volume of migrants crossing into the United States. US Border Patrol Agent Tessa Reyes escorted us to multiple areas where migrants cross the border to begin their process of requesting asylum.

The US has seen a major surge in Central American migrant families arriving in the US and requesting asylum, leaving Border Patrol agents and facilities overwhelmed. Per the Border Patrol, Business Insider was not allowed to film inside the processing center where immigrants are temporarily detained.

During a visit to the Border Patrol’s training academy in Artesia, New Mexico, we sat down with Acting Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection John Sanders, who called the situation at the border “unprecedented.”

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What It’s Really Like At The US-Mexico Border

Life After Release From ICE Detention (HBO)

With thousands of Central American migrants turning themselves in to Border Patrol to ask for asylum each day, the U.S. is running out of space to hold them. So starting this winter ICE has been releasing them from detention into communities on the border.

Dropped into a country they know nothing about, often with no resources, their fate is left in the hands of good samaritans, nonprofits, churches, and even helpful bus station employees.

VICE News followed Brenda Del Carmen, a young mother who had never before left the Honduran village where she was born, in the days after she was released. With her four-month-old infant in tow, she tried to make her way from El Paso to Chicago, where her husband and five-year-old daughter had gone two months earlier. Like many others in their small farming community, their coffee crops had fallen sick that year.

“Honduras is really poor right now,” she said. “There is no hope.”

Facing destitution, the family gathered funds to pay a coyote to bring them to the U.S. Brenda traveled for a week with her infant Kimberly, presented herself to Border Patrol, and after a week in ICE custody, was released. She then spent more than 24 hours straight traveling through Texas, Arkansas, and Illinois to reach her family.

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Clashes & crying: Mexican cops detain hundreds of migrants in largest single raid on caravan

Mexican police and immigration agents detained hundreds of Central American migrants on Monday in the largest single raid on a migrant caravan since the groups started moving through the country last year.

Police targeted isolated groups at the tail end of a caravan of about 3,000 migrants who were making their way through the southern state of Chiapas with hopes of reaching the US border.

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At border, VP Pence calls for end to ‘loopholes’

Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that besides making sure border agents have the resources they need, Congress must “close loopholes” that drive Central American families to seek asylum here. (April 11)

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Commercial border crossing delayed for hours, days

The Trump administration has reassigned so many inspectors from U.S.-Mexico border crossings to deal with a surge of Central American families that truckers are waiting in line for hours and in some cases days to get shipments to the U.S. (April 9)

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Nielsen: I still supports Trump’s border goals

Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday she still shares President Donald Trump’s goal of securing the border, a day after she resigned as Homeland Security secretary amid Trump’s frustration and bitterness over a spike in Central American migration. (April 8)

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Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen resigns

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned Sunday amid President Donald Trump’s growing frustration and bitterness over the number of Central American families crossing the southern border. (April 8)

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Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen resigns

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned Sunday amid President Donald Trump’s growing frustration and bitterness over the number of Central American families crossing the southern border. (April 8)

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