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  1. ITV Report

Meet the migrants crossing the US border as Trump bids to tighten asylum rules

With their clothes still damp from crossing the Rio Grande, a family of Honduran migrants hands themselves in at the US' southern border and requests asylum.

They're one group among the thousands who do so every year, after making the perilous journey from their home country to the safety of the United States.

Until today, those seeking asylum would be taken into border patrol custody, put through a credible fear interview and then have a court hear their claim.

Now President Trump has withdrawn the right of migrants to claim asylum, if they pass through another country on their way to the United States southern border.

  • ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy on the consequences of President Trump's decision to withdraw the right of migrants to claim asylum in the USA

Read more: Republicans' response to Trump 'go home' attack more disturbing than comments

The rules, which come into effect on Tuesday, will worst affect migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America, effectively putting an end to applications from migrants from countries like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The UN refugee agency has said it is "deeply concerned" about the restrictions, stating it will put vulnerable families at risk.

It is expected to be challenged in the courts for conflicting US and International agreements on the treatment of refugees.

  • Migrants undeterred by risks of crossing border illegally
Sister Isabel Turcios provides refuge to those crossing the border from Mexico. Credit: ITV News

"We're fleeing because we have no other choice," a mother of five told ITV News.

Along with her family, she plans to cross the Rio Grande into the US, she said: "The river terrifies us, but we have to keep going. We don't have an option."

Last year 162,000 people applied for asylum - only 13,000 were successful.

"The border has been fortified with military, police and immigration officers so it's very hard to cross," said Sister Isabel Turcios a woman who provides shelter to migrants in Mexico for the Casa del Migrante Frontera Digna.

But she doesn't believe migrants will be deterred, whatever the law they will keep following their quest for the American dream.

As a result hundreds have died.

  • Border guards say protecting frontier "stressful"

Randy Clark, a border patrol agent working to protect the United States from illegal entrants, told ITV News the past year "has been the most stressful year that I've experienced in 31 years".

He is in charge of one of the most crossed stretches of the Rio Grande and has seen migrants die as they try to get to safety.

"I've witnessed first hand a young lady drop her four-month-old baby into the water - and it was never found.

"It looks relatively serene but if you consider if you have three children and you want to cross, you cannot carry three children. "When you get into that water and you begin to get swept away because there are undercurrents that you cannot see, you will panic."

But despite the dangers, the numbers of crossing continue to rise. The President is determined to bring the figures down.

By withdrawing the right to asylum, he's challenging international law - but to him, that's as little of a deterrent as the river is to those he seeks to stop.