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March 12, 2020
A short stretch of the meandering Rio Grande - the river that marks the border between the United States...
The Wider Image: A year documenting migration on Rio Grande
A short stretch of the meandering Rio Grande - the river that marks the border between the United States and Mexico - has been for a long time a focal point for migrants looking to head north, seeking a better life. In the first half of 2019, it became a scene of chaos and misery as unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers arrived, mostly Central Americans. Families fleeing poverty and gang violence sought to cross at a record rate, overwhelming the border patrol agents on the U.S. side. As summer gave way to autumn, the numbers declined dramatically. U.S. President Donald Trump, who had campaigned on an anti-immigration platform, passed a series of measures to curb entry and pressured Mexico to make its own border more secure. As a result of the new policies, tens of thousands of migrants have been turned back across the border to wait in Mexico for the resolution of their immigration cases and the U.S. government has more tools to deny asylum seekers outright. The U.S. border patrol said total apprehensions at the southwest border hit a high of nearly 133,000 in May 2019. By November that decreased to some 34,000. Reuters photographer Adrees Latif has spent much of the last year in the Rio Grande Valley, documenting the extraordinary scenes. REUTERS/Adrees Latif SEARCH "RIO GRANDE PATROL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. Matching Text: USA-IMMIGRATION/ASYLUM SEEKERS. TEMPLATE OUT
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