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Migrants at U.S.-Mexico border say Trump's tough talk will not deter them

Several of those caught said they were unfazed by tough talk from Trump




MISSION, Texas (Reuters) - On Tuesday, the same day that U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to deploy military to help patrol the U.S.-Mexico border, Edwin Valdez and four other Central American migrants were walking through dense brush at a south Texas wildlife reserve, hoping to escape notice.

The men had illegally crossed into the United States that morning, guided by a smuggler who had since abandoned them. Now they were lost and uncertain how to proceed.

In vehicles nearby, U.S. Border Patrol agents had been alerted to migrants moving through the area, and after detecting movement in the bushes, they swooped in to arrest the men.

It was business as usual in the Rio Grande Valley, one of the busiest crossing points for migrants trying to enter the United States illegally.


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In just a few hours that morning, 61 migrants, including Valdez, were rounded up in the area. Ten, including four from China, were caught with the help of a tracking dog in a sugar cane field. Two Hondurans were taken into custody at a public park.

Several of those caught said they were unfazed by tough talk from Trump, who has made headlines around the world with tweets railing about border security and threatening to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) unless Mexico does more to “stop the big drug and people flows.”

Trump’s renewed frustration about border security, rekindled over the weekend by news of a “caravan” of Central American migrants moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border, reflects the broader frustration of his administration.

In the months after Trump took office, the number of migrants caught along the U.S.-Mexico border fell dramatically, hitting a low of about 15,700 in April, from more than 42,400 in January 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows.

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