Smuggler trade thriving on Mexico’s southern border as migrants seek access to the U.S.

The number of immigrant families apprehended by U.S. agents along the southern border nearly tripled in February from a month earlier to about 19,000 people.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - (Reuters) Maritza Hernández arrived at a remote Guatemalan village exhausted, with two young kids in tow and more than a thousand miles left to travel. She was motivated by a simple - if not entirely accurate - story.

“I heard news they are letting children in,” said Hernández, explaining she planned to cross the U.S. border in Texas and seek asylum.

The number of immigrant families apprehended by U.S. agents along the southern border nearly tripled in February from a month earlier to about 19,000 people. Hunger and poverty are spurring their flight . . .

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