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These Photographs Show The Dire Conditions Immigrants Face At The US–Mexico Border

Despite President Joe Biden maintaining key restrictions at the border, thousands of people are braving harsh conditions for a chance of getting into the US.

Posted on April 13, 2021, at 8:44 p.m. ET

A record number of people, especially children, have been crossing the US–Mexico border this year, fueled by rumors of looser restrictions, even though the Biden administration has continued a policy of deporting most asylum-seekers and shelters are packed with unaccompanied minors.

While access to the shelters themselves has been limited, journalists and activists at the border have reported a backlog of thousands of people willing to try their luck. Those who have been turned back often wait in encampments in Mexico before trying again.

These photos highlight the dire conditions these immigrants face as they try to make it into the US after having left everything behind in their home countries.

John Moore / Getty Images

Central American families walk toward US Border Patrol agents near the border on April 10, 2021, in La Joya, Texas.

John Moore / Getty Images

People remove their shoelaces, per safety protocols, before boarding a Customs and Border Protection bus to a processing center near the border in La Joya, Texas, on April 13, 2021.

Edgard Garrido / Reuters

A family of immigrants walk after crossing a river to turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents and request asylum in El Paso, Texas, as seen from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on March 30, 2021.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A group of immigrants arrives in the US after crossing the Rio Grande in a raft piloted by smugglers on March 30, 2021, in Roma, Texas.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A mother and her children from Ecuador walk to a US Border Patrol processing facility after crossing from Mexico on March 29, 2021.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A group of people are processed by Border Patrol agents after arriving from Mexico on March 30, 2021, in Roma, Texas.

Veronica G. Cardenas

A Central American mother and her son are processed by a Border Patrol agent after having crossed the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas, on March 25, 2021.

Jose Torres / Reuters

Members of the Mexican National Guard and agents of the country's National Migration Institute (INM) stand in formation during the announcement of the deployment of security forces as part of new efforts to cut the flow of US-bound immigrants.

Jorge Duenes / Reuters

An encampment of asylum-seekers at El Chaparral border crossing with the US in Tijuana, Mexico, on March 23, 2021.

Dario Lopez-mills / AP

People sleep under a gazebo at a park in the Mexican border city of Reynosa, on March 27, 2021.

Dario Lopez-mills / AP

A woman rises amid sleeping fellow immigrants under a gazebo in the Mexican border city of Reynosa.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

A child from Honduras waits with her family and a group of immigrants after crossing the Rio Grande in a raft guided by Mexican smugglers on March 29, 2021, in Roma, Texas.

Dario Lopez-mills / Getty Images

Children talk to an agent outside at a pod in a Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley run by the US Customs and Border Protection on March 30, 2021.

Dario Lopez-mills / Getty Images

A child walks over others as they lie inside a pod for women at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility.

Pool / Reuters

Young unaccompanied immigrants sit inside a playpen at the Customs and Border Protection facility in Donna, Texas, on March 30, 2021.

Dario Lopez-mills / Getty Images

A woman and her daughter have their biometric data entered at the intake area of the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility on March 30, 2021.

Pool / Reuters

Young people get processed at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility on March 30, 2021.

Edgard Garrido / Reuters

A mother and her son from Honduras walk after crossing into the US to turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents on March 29, 2021.


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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