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Small Texas border town is route to US for migrant children

Migrant families, mostly from Central American countries, wade through shallow waters after...
Migrant families, mostly from Central American countries, wade through shallow waters after being delivered by smugglers on small inflatable rafts on U.S. soil in Roma, Texas, Wednesday, March 24, 2021. As soon as the sun sets, at least 100 migrants crossed through the Rio Grande river by smugglers into the United States. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)(Dario Lopez-Mills)
Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:32 PM PDT
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ROMA, Texas (AP) - A small border town in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley has become the latest epicenter of illegal crossings, where growing numbers of families and children enter the United States to seek asylum.

Within an hour of darkness Wednesday, about 100 people have been ferried in rafts across the Rio Grande and into the U.S. in Roma, including many families with toddlers and children as young as 7 traveling alone.

They wear numbered wristbands that say “deliveries” in Spanish, apparently a way for smugglers to keep track of them. U.S. authorities have reported more than 100,000 encounters on the southern border in February, the highest since a four-month surge in 2019.

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