Police clash with protesters in Honduras | AFP

Police clash with demonstrators in Tegucigalpa, as they protest against the construction of a housing complex in La Tigra National Park, one of the main water sources of the Honduran capital.

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A Honduran zoo, once a narco playground, is now home to tapirs | AFP

Almendra, a young tapir, is bottle fed at the Joya Grande Zoo, a huge park that was seized six years ago from drug traffickers in the rugged mountains of northern Honduras and is now part of a project to rescue the threatened tapirs of Central America.

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Migrants rejected by the United States await in Mexico to go back home | AFP

A group of 70 migrants rejected by the United States await in Mexico their political asylum process under the Permanecer en México (Stay in Mexico) program of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), so that rejected migrants can return to Honduras voluntarily when they arrive at the Casa del Migrante in Ciudad Juárez.

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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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