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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Deported Honduran migrant gives up on American dream

Ruth Elizabeth Gomez was on the top of a four-meter high wall when US border agents sprayed tear gas at her and other members of the first migrant caravan that set off from Honduras in search of a better life. She passed out and fell, but says the worst was yet to come in an American migration centre before she was eventually deported home.

Indigenous fight over hydroelectric dam in Honduras

The indigenous communities of Reitoca and Lepaterique had friendly relations until 2017, when they entered into conflict after the Promotora de Energia Limpia S.A. (PROGELSA), came to try to build a hydroelectric dam in the Rio Grande de Reitoca in Honduras. Some of the Lenca indigenous people from Reitoca are willing to give their lives for the river that runs between arid mountains in southern Honduras, while some of the community of Lepaterique say the work must continue for the jobs it generates.

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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Lobster divers risk death, injury in Honduras

Lobster divers risk death, injury in Honduras.

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US aids Honduras financially, citizens fear the money inflames human rights violations

The US has been providing Honduras with financial aid, aimed at alleviating the situation there. However, the money that’s been pouring into the region, may actually be doing more harm than good.

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Mother waits 8 years for lost migrant son’s return

(4 Dec 2018) Eight years ago, Wilmer Gerardo Nunez left Honduras for the United States, only to disappear in Mexico, leaving his anguished mother in limbo. On Oct. 31, Haydee Posadas went to the airport in Honduras to receive the casket carrying her son. (Dec. 4)

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Hondurans flee from poverty but find death in migrant caravan

Wilfredo Cruz lives in the slum of El Caimito in the port city of San Lorenzo and waits for the body of his son Oscar to be returned after he died at age 17 on his way to Mexico with the “caravan” of migrants seeking the American dream and to escape misery and gang violence in Honduras.

105 caravan migrants reportedly deported back to Honduras after giving up on crossing US border

Some 105 migrants were reportedly voluntarily deported from Tijuana back to Honduras on Wednesday, after giving up on their US asylum claims. Migrants could be seen loading luggage and boarding a Mexican federal police aircraft bound for Honduras. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9j96

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