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Salvadoran migrant Leonel, 15, waits for a chance to seek asylum in the United States on Friday, Aug. 2 on the bridge between Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico.

University of Texas researchers say a high-ranking U.S. border official refused them entry and sent them back to Piedras Negras, Mexico — straight into the arms of Mexican authorities who threatened to arrest them on smuggling charges. Read more»

Migrants wait at a plaza near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Tamualipas.

It started in California, on the western edge of the southern border. Now officials say the controversial “remain in Mexico” program, which sends asylum-seeking migrants back across the border to await their fate, could soon hit the other end: Brownsville. Read more»

Families gather outside a tent at a temporary migrant holding area set up by Customs and Border Protection under the Paso del Norte International Port of Entry between Juarez and El Paso.

The Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector has seen a large spike in cases of rhabdomyolysis — severe dehydration and overexertion — among migrants this year. Border agents say smugglers are to blame for treating migrants like "cargo" and pushing them too hard. Read more»

Honduran migrants walk through Highway México 307 on Oct. 21 near Palenque, Chiapas. The highway is also known by the locals as 'El gran corredor del pacífico del migrante,' or 'The Great Pacific Corridor of the Migrant.' This is a common route for Honduran migrants due to its proximity to their country.

The Honduran migrants headed northward as part of a large group are fleeing for different reasons — rank poverty, gang threats and a globalized economy that left them behind. They’re so desperate, they said, they’re willing to gamble on a dangerous trip. Read more»

Grisber Calero, a computer science student, found himself a marked man in Nicaragua thanks to his participation in street protests and his father's role as an opposition leader.

It’s a cruel irony that Central American asylum-seekers flee the frying pan of violence and extortion in their home countries only to land in the fire that is Mexico, where robbery, shakedowns leave them desperate and broke by the time they reach the U.S. border. Read more»

Defense attorney Carlos Garcia (r.) confers with former Border Patrol agent Joel Luna.

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna was found guilty of engaging in organized criminal activity, but a Cameron County jury acquitted him of murder. Read more»

Ex-Border Patrol agent Joel Luna confers with attorney Carlos Garcia after his arraignment in Brownsville before Judge Benjamin Euresti on Feb. 3, 2016.

The capital murder case began in 2015 with the discovery of a headless body floating off South Padre Island. The trial of two men charged in the case — a U.S. Border Patrol agent and his Mexican-born brother — begins Tuesday in South Texas Read more»

A fundamental truth underlies the nation's collective failure to stop illegal immigration and smuggling over the southern border: The United States demands the cheap labor and drugs. Read more»

José Santoyo at his mother's home in Corsicana on Oct. 23, 2016.

Some undocumented immigrants brought here as kids were granted a sort of legal status by President Barack Obama. They're in a state of shock and panic now that Donald Trump has won the White House. Read more»

Henry Vladimir Melgar Amaya, 32, an officer in the prevention unit of the El Salvador national police, leads a lesson at an elementary school in Lourdes, El Salvador.

In a tiny classroom in a small hamlet in the murder capital of the world, the U.S. government is testing the theory — one child at a time — that helping young Central Americans at home might convince them to stay put rather than joining the flood of migrants fleeing for the U.S.-Mexico border. Read more»

Rafts made of inflatable tires and wooden slats ferry people and goods across the Suchiate River separating Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, and Tecun Uman, Guatemala, with the international bridge connecting the two countries in the background.

Under pressure from the United States, Mexico has tried to cut down the flow of Central American immigrants passing through on their way to the southern U.S. border. Read more»

The body of an alleged gang member following a shootout in Ayagualo, El Salvador, in May 2016 that police say began when one of their patrols was ambushed.

The challenge of securing the southern U.S. border is changing dramatically as fewer Mexicans cross illegally, but more Central Americans arrive seeking refuge from the terror and chaos of their home countries. Read more»

Suspects (l-r) Aaron Rodriguez Medellin, Eduardo Luna Rodriguez and Joel Luna Rodriguez stand before District 107 Judge Benjamin Euresti on Thursday for their arraignment on murder charges.

The brother of a U.S. Border Patrol agent charged with capital murder in an alleged Mexican drug cartel hit struck a surprise deal Thursday to help prosecutors build their case against his siblings and other defendants. Read more»

Border Patrol agent Joel Luna Rodriguez confers with his attorney Carlos A. Gardcia after his arraignment in Brownsville by District 107 Judge Benjamin Euresti on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

When Franky Palacios Paz was found naked and decapitated floating off South Padre Island, the local sheriff thought the murder would lead investigators back to Mexican drug cartel violence. He didn’t expect a U.S. Border Patrol agent to be among those arrested. Read more»

United States Border Patrol agents patrol a portion of the Rio Grande river between Roma, Texas and Miguel Aléman, Tamaulipas.

Keeping people and drugs from crossing illegally into the United States requires more than boots on the ground. In the busy smuggling corridor of Starr County, Texas, it also takes boats in the water. Read more»

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