Since U.S. President Joe Biden took office, migration at the southern border of the United States has increased to levels not seen in decades. Crossings in the past two months have eclipsed the high numbers of last summer, and officials expect the trend to continue, even though, with pandemic restrictions still in place, there is almost no access to asylum.

The vast majority of migrants cross into the United States at spots between official ports of entry, walking over the border or wading, swimming or floating across the Rio Grande, almost always under the watch of cartel-approved guides hired in Mexico. At times, some have been invited by Customs and Border Protection officials to walk across pedestrian bridges from Mexico — by far the safest and most orderly route.

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