Central America | KERA News

Central America

The Trump administration is actively investigating imposing a travel ban against Guatemala unless the Central American nation takes significant steps to curb illegal migration northward.

Associated Press

The Trump administration on Monday moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants in a major escalation of the president's battle to tamp down the number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rosa Hidalia Palacios fled El Salvador in April. She crossed into Mexico from Guatemala without a hitch, riding on a little raft that ferries people and goods back and forth. A few hundred yards down the Suchiate River from the rafting route, Mexican immigration enforcement agents watched idly from the official border crossing.

Palacios hasn't made it much farther than the border, as dozens of migration checkpoints cover all roads leading north. She is stuck in a nearby city, Tapachula, Mexico, waiting in line outside the little office of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid.

AP Photo/Felix Marquez

About 170 migrants in a caravan of Central American asylum-seekers have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, joining about nearly 200 others on their final stop before entering the United States.

Three tourist buses were guarded by a Mexican police escort on a curvy, mountainous road from the Mexican border city of Mexicali.

Six times in recent days, Marco Antonio Cabachuela, his wife, Irma, and their 3-year-old, Valerie, walked up to federal immigration officers at the Hidalgo, Texas, port of entry and asked for asylum.

And every night, they returned to an immigrant shelter in Reynosa, Mexico, where men and women sit listlessly in a shady courtyard.

"They rejected it," he says. "They said there was no room for us."

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Since last October, more than 57,000 kids from Central America have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. Many of these immigrant children are living in North Texas. Brayan Arce is one of them. He's from Honduras, but he says that living there has become too dangerous, especially for kids. Brayan, who's 14, shares his story of how he came to join his mom in Dallas. He hadn't seen her in 11 years.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

So far, most of the debate over the immigrant children who have crossed the Texas border has been political. On Monday, an event featuring religious and community leaders supporting those children put a spotlight on a girl in the middle of that debate. She told her story with the help of a translator.

William Holston, Commentator

All week, NPR has reported on life along the U.S.-Mexico border. In his commentary, William Holston focuses on one particular group of immigrants growing in number in North Texas.