Donald Trump's rhetoric about building a wall on the U.S.- Mexico border might be drawing more migrants to cross over, according to the Washington Post
The amount of migrants that have been captured along the border in 2016 has not reached the 227,371 people that were apprehended in 2014, but some are predicting the numbers will rise.
"We're definitely on track to catch up to it," Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera said to the Post, referring to the 2014 tally. "The political climate has a lot to do with it," he added.
The U.S. presidential election appears to represent a flashpoint for migrants seeking to enter the country: Under a Democratic presidency, unauthorized immigrants could get permits to live and work in the U.S.
Presumptive Republican nominee Trump, however, has promised to deport millions, block payments from immigrants in the U.S. to their families back home, and to build a wall along the border of the U.S. and Mexico.
"They want to get over before he builds it," explained Mario Saucedo Mendoza, a shelter worker in Reynosa, the Mexican city opposite the border from McAllen, Texas.
"People are trying to get in front of him, they are trying to cross now," Saucedo Mendoza told the Post.
Executive Director of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, Sister Norma Pimentel, said that Central American families aim to cross over because they face dangers at home. "It's impossible to live in their home countries," Pimentel told the Post.
"They know their children run high risks of being killed, of being kidnapped, of being taken away," Pimentel said.
Border fences and barriers that are already along the border have not proved impenetrable, as migrants have found ways to get around or over them, with ropes, ladders, and tunnels, according to the Post report.
Those seeking entry into the U.S. are in a "hurry, hurry, hurry, get there" mode, Ruben Villareal, a Republican congressional candidate, told the Post.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation of American Immigration Reform, said in LifeZette
that uncertainty over the presidency has led to the increase.
"People in Central America can't be sure who's going to be the next president, and they're hedging their bets."
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