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U.S. border fence no deterrent to migrant surge

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 8, 2019 - Duration: 02:22s

U.S. border fence no deterrent to migrant surge

Even as U.S. President Donald Trump has been pushing for a wall but Reuters found that the border barrier near El Paso Texas is doing little to deter migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. Havovi Cooper reports.

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U.S. border fence no deterrent to migrant surge

Even as U.S. President Donald Trump has been rallying to build a border wall….

...a recent reporting trip to the border near El Paso Texas shows that the 18-foot-high steel barrier that runs through the city - isn't doing much to keep out migrants who are arriving in droves at the U.S. Mexico border every day- seeking asylum in the US.

Reuters correspondent Andrew Hay explains SOUNDBITE ANDREW HAY, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT SAYING: "Undocumented migrants crossing the rio grande and arriving into the US are at levels not seen since 2006.//We went down to a section of the wall in downtown el paso where groups of up to 400 people were arriving, wading across the rio grande and simply walking up to the border fence and standing and waiting to surrender to US border patrol agents.

Once they've crossed the river and are standing south of the border they are on US soil and US agents are obliged to take them into detention." NATSOUND BORDER PATROL AGENT JOE ROMERO: "Be advised I've got a group of eight I'm walking towards you, we're east of you right now, walking towards you." Just a few years back--the steel fence in El Paso would have posed an obstacle to migrants who tried to evade getting caught by authorities.

But that is no longer the case.

SOUNDBITE ANDREW HAY, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT SAYING: "Driving this flow of migrants is a change in the profile of people who are trying to enter the U.S. Only 3 years ago upto 85% of all those apprehended by U.S. border patrol here would have been single, predominantly male, adult Mexicans.

Now the new migrants are Central American families and unaccompanied children who represent between 85% and 90% of all apprehensions." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BENJAMIN GOMEZ, GUATEMALAN MIGRANT SAYING: "We're coming here because there's a lot of poverty, a lot of crime, my son was a taxi driver but they'd just steal his money." Border Patrol say the fence is successful in stopping migrants scattering into the city, giving agents time to corral them along the fence and herd them to gates from which they are bused away for processing.

But those facilities are already so overwhelmed by the sheer number of migrants seeking asylum.

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