Border crisis: What’s happening at the US-Mexico border?

In May 2021, the number of migrants crossing the U.S. southern border hit a 20-year high with over 180,000 encounters.
11:44 | 06/18/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Border crisis: What’s happening at the US-Mexico border?
May 20/20 one the number of migrants crossing the US southern border with higher than its dean in two decades. According to US Customs and Border Protection over a 180000. Migrants were apprehended. A 70% increase since February. Included in that number almost 141000 unaccompanied children eating care and shelter while health and human services search for family members are sponsors in the United States. The number of children that writing to the corner has these really high in Neitzel painful to see the stories on news. They will cute little whatever it takes. They pay at cleanup day at smugglers cross that they are paying human traffickers. Back through legal immigration system is really totally benefiting the cartels veterans. After it did an immigration at the southern border due to the corona virus pandemic of the search of migrants in 20/20 one has already surpassed received records. So why are so many risking everything to flee their home countries. And what does the US government need to do to address this crisis at the Porter. Who. So imagine you are a taxi driver in Honduras. In order to run your taxes business. Gift of hate or reds to a cocaine if you cannot pay your rent is thanking its aren't you shoot you end to order and so what happens usually pays another gang descending cartel to get you out of the country. And tedious task order. You often times our I kidnapped and held for ransom along the way. No body wants to be they have Tommy can't can't she even less to be feared children and two TDs. Risky journey back to eighties. To die in their home colleges are to at least try to notify him trying to better future. Many migrants and nearly all unaccompanied minors at the border are traveling from some of the poorest countries in Central America. Known as the northern triangle. The northern triangle is made up of Guatemala El Salvador and Honduras. The region has been plagued by civil war is extreme poverty and widespread violence. And according to the UN El Salvador has the highest homicide rate in the world. There's no easy solution weird two migration because he's being interaction that he's fitting community east. He botanist in Africa for two in the eighties. You know being between a 18200. Censors. Some might print and together in large caravans walking over a thousand miles for weeks on end to reach the last quarter. And others and thousands of dollars higher pay equity. A TV isn't person that we appear to pay me for teaching her song from and you can't Trace to the US. Or wrong it's the cartels and the smuggling networks who are putting word on the street across the region that UK us and six cent thousand dollars a pop. We're going to get used and or your child to the US Mexico border because the borders open. I'm told by law enforcement the border that these smugglers have. Sophisticated. Networks you're not just talking about one person out of the border. They can get on the phone and call people who have I is everywhere and tell them when the coast is clear. I mean they're running up against sophisticated military operations and yet they're still able to. Combat act technology successfully and cross thousands of people every day. They will still Cindy yet that the children DC. They will protect him but he's not just it's just East Africa the very first thing. Simon thank you for being soft target communities and salt they will on the children wearing the hat. Give us or. This ten year old nicaraguans waste was left behind the curtains traveling. You know London with Arnold with Cabrera broke me. And you know Border Patrol took him to the Donna detention center where he was housed with more than 3000 other migrant children in early April. Oh it. For many migrants crossing the Rio Grande marks the last leg of harrowing journey. But the road to asylum is just beach. You know we're talking about. Dusty dark. Roads we're talking about rush we're talking about crossing the border in the dark of night. We came across to young little boy is. One of them had a phone number written inside at will had. Another little boy had phone number written inside his on his hands. The hole for these little boys is that once they come across the border that they can turn of the Border Patrol and say I'm Seeking Asylum. Help me make contact with east family members. Whose members are on our clothes you know I'll tell you I've I've covered lot sad stories and that particular moment of seeing. One of the little boys who had a phone number still legible after this long journey from Honduras. The other little boy that number had already feet it I had to step away from the interview because it really. Hit you in your soul it I don't know. How authorities will be able to track down this little boy's family he certainly wasn't old enough to have memorize that number by himself. I don't even know if he knew his entire name. It. Every year around spring went but not whether it turns we see this kind of afloat. To the US Mexico border even over the top administration stills. Very large numbers unaccompanied children in families. Looking to use us for sound and United States. Wrong. Books. Did different this written. It is there. Children. Children. Salute the federal government. Situations. We're here boom years here. Over the burglary customs border. Even supporters of this administration say that they were not prepared for what happened that they. Came in and were so adamant about. Calling the trump administration's immigration policies immoral and they moved so quickly overturned so much that drug administration's policies. That they didn't think far enough ahead and an advance to what that would look like on the actual border when they change those policies. There was need to look very quickly and very urgent allegiance to pass. One of the things that they are is heard to order local merchants in its. One of these sites to shut down following allegations of inadequate living conditions. Including that migrant girls were forced to spend all day indoors armed cops in overcrowded and understaffed shelters. Ultimately. Finding ways and state police the process. Of releasing children. Do parents or. Their relatives. Is really. Crucial while the Biden administration works to streamline the process in May they were still for 28000 migrant children into CBP custody or HHS care. The rise in children and families Seeking Asylum at the border has added to a tremendous backlog of cases. In 2019 that backlog hit a record high with over one million cases leading to be heard. Since then they've increased to one point three million. And while the Biden administration did roll back some of Trump's immigration policies they left in place one of the most restrictive. Effectively closing the US border to nearly all asylum seekers. Right now under title for two restrictions single adults were apprehended at the border are spells. There now and into a detention or demarcation process. And their cases are not hurt right immigration courts. In essence there turnarounds. For families with children haven't tender age those analysts are allowed into the US and our moves through of the immigration. Or incest. Administration. It's eight clear that is moving away. From woods. Sometimes referred to its bid to remain in Mexico program. It's horrible it was smarter. Or holes. In my ear protection program calls its slow lead me on grounds of those families are working with the minutes here. And then with Customs and Border Protection to him intense thing carefully into the United States and sure there are cases are being heard. Also being unwound the family separation policy. Obama Biden administration has located the families at least sixty children were separated at the border under the trump administration. They are still searching for hundreds mourn. Or the administration struggles. It is. The pro administration. Did it pertains to restrict the borders that people we have our way. And so just the process. Of trying to close to walk becomes that it still prefer. For more than thirty years politicians talked my immigration reform. Only done nothing. It's time fixed. It went vice president Carla Harris was tasked with leading efforts to address the surge of people migrating from south and Central America. Harris received criticism on her first foreign trip as vice president after delivering a warning to anyone considering making the journey you acts. Do not come. Tonight. The United States will continue to enforce. And secure our border. Harris also discussed ways to increase economic opportunity and bolster changed inside the northern triangle. Our response to. And our capacity. Is to give people a sense of. Eight. So let's stressed that certain costs this. It should require us. Big. Empower me. Being ownership of that governments. Like in my hands and the list of naked. The defense can here until the end yeah. I think that the Biden administration should expedite their efforts to establish in the region refugee processing centers so that whether it's Sam lane or a minor. Picking up Clyde Morris protection in their region. That is very short term solution that can have a terrible impact on the safety of lives. And on disrupt things. The means. It is that those cartels. Immigration center complex issue but it's hoped for people if there are opportunities. Since I have to you know to get its repeated. To finance decent job. Soon how rap. Access some basic science it's. My vision is not the unbeaten option. It's should indeed did on meet.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"11:44","description":"In May 2021, the number of migrants crossing the U.S. southern border hit a 20-year high with over 180,000 encounters.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"78321597","title":"Border crisis: What’s happening at the US-Mexico border?","url":"/US/video/border-crisis-whats-happening-us-mexico-border-78321597"}