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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Cleanup underway after deadly mudslides in Peru

In the Peruvian town of Aplao, Arequipa, southern Peru, cleanup is underway after a landslide caused by heavy rains with President Martin Vizcarra visiting to inspect the site. At least five people died and dozens of family homes and stores were affected by mudslides in the municipality of Rio Grande, in Arequipa region due to seasonal rains in the Andes.

Fight against Trump’s border wall hits home along the Rio Grande

Last year, Congress approved $ 1.6 billion in funding for a portion of the border wall promised by President Trump. For some residents of Mission, a Texas town along the banks of the Rio Grande, the arrival of bulldozers could mean the loss of their land.

Trump pushes for wall on Rio Grande visit

(10 Jan 2019) Standing along the Rio Grande, President Donald Trump says “a lot of the crime in our country is caused by what’s coming through here.” (Jan. 10)

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President Trump arrives in Texas to visit southern border

US president Donald Trump stepping off the plane as he arrives in Texas where he will visit the southern border and take part in a roundtable on immigration and border security, as well as a visit to the Rio Grande where he will receive a briefing on border security. IMAGES

Images of the Rio Grande along the US-Mexico border

Images of the Rio Grande seen from Anzalduas Park in McAllen, Texas which is on the US border with Mexico. President Trump travels to McAllen on Thursday and will fly down to the southern border that he described in his prime-time television address to the nation, as an open door to murderers and other criminals. IMAGES