Migrants are being turned away at the U.S.-Mexico border in droves as the Trump administration tightens up entry, forcing people to turn to illegal means of getting into America, The New York Times reports.
"What we have seen is that no one is getting across the border," Hector Silva, the director of the Senda de Vida migrant shelter in Reynosa, Mexico, told the Times. "This forces families, with all the desperation they feel, to go illegally."
Smugglers in Mexico are charging more money because they have a large number of people seeking entry into the United States.
One couple, Osman Guillén and Lillian Menendez, told the Times they were quoted $7,000 each just to be taken to the banks on the Texas side of the river. Others have been quoted $5,500. Previously, the rate was $4,000.
"Desperation makes you do crazy things," Guillén said. "I don't think anything would stop me. And certainly not a wall."
President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to tighten up immigration and has delivered, but the partial government shutdown has made the entry process even more difficult.
There are currently 800,000 cases pending in U.S. immigration courts, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, and many immigration courts are closed. Employers are also unable to use the federal system, E-Verify, to verify whether workers are in the U.S. legally.
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