4 Investigates: Asylum seekers | KOB 4
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4 Investigates: Asylum seekers

Nathan O'Neal
February 14, 2019 11:05 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Every week since October, border authorities say thousands of migrants have poured into Hidalgo County, where there is no border wall, only vehicle barriers and barbed wire fencing. 

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Border agents tell us most of these border crossers are seeking asylum. 

A mother and her 13-year-old daughter made the harrowing 15 day journey from Guatemala. KOB was there moments after they surrendered themselves to border agents at Antelope Wells. 

The woman said she's come here to seek asylum. 

"Because of the crime and because of the way they're using my daughter for extortion in my country," she said. 

This is a common fear for asylum seekers coming from Central America. 

Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are collectively known as the "golden triangle" region. 

It is an area notorious for corruption and violent criminal organizations - that engage in gunfights, kidnapping and death threats. 

KOB rode along with border agents in New Mexico's Bootheel. Agent Fidel Baca tells KOB that human smugglers guide these large groups to our border. 

"They can send people to Central America and recruit per se... saying I can get you the U.S. - it's just going to cost this amount of money," he said. 

This mother and daughter turned up in New Mexico with nothing but the clothes on their backs. She told KOB they bought food along the way. 

So far this year, border patrol has apprehended nearly three times the amount of families than all of last year. 

Credits

Nathan O'Neal

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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