Immigrant families cross the U.S.-Mexico border

Immigrant families cross the U.S.-Mexico border

The Guatemalan father carried his 6-year-old son on his shoulders as he walked with U.S. Border Patrol agents in the searing mid-morning sun after crossing California's border with Mexico. 

They had been walking for two days in the scrubby mountains on the edge of Tijuana, Mexico. It is unforgiving cactus-dotted land. They came across agents about a mile away from the towering prototypes of the new wall that President Donald Trump has proposed building. 

 A Guatemalan father and son, who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, are escorted down a hill by a U.S. Border Patrol agent June 28, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A Guatemalan father and son, who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, are escorted down a hill by a U.S. Border Patrol agent June 28, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The encounter illustrates the enduring arrival of migrants from Central America even in the face of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy that at first separated thousands of immigrant children from their parents before it was halted under public pressure. A federal judge in San Diego has ordered authorities to reunite around 2,000 children who were separated from their parents when they were detained over the past month. 

It was unclear if the father from Guatemala knew any of this. He quietly put his hands on his head as an agent patted him down. His son stood by watching, his face frozen. The agents allowed the man to take a water bottle from his backpack, after they checked its contents, and give his son a drink. 

Then they were loaded into a waiting Border Patrol van already filled with a group of other immigrants from India caught earlier that morning. 

 A U.S. Border Patrol van drives up the hill to pick up migrants apprehended trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as the Mexican land looks on the left side of the border wall along a road Thursday, June 28, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A U.S. Border Patrol van drives up the hill to pick up migrants apprehended trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as the Mexican land looks on the left side of the border wall along a road Thursday, June 28, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

On the other side of the border, there have also been daily signs about the flow of migrants into the U.S., many of them fleeing rampant gang violence in Central America. 

About a dozen people swam across the Rio Grande near Brownsville, Texas in the early morning Friday, only their heads poking out of the water. A pedestrian bridge spanning over the river was lined with an equal number of asylum seekers _ from Cuba to Guatemala _ who reclined on towels and blankets on the steamy concrete on the Mexican side, waiting to hear from authorities as to when U.S. immigration officials can meet them to hear their cases. 

 Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico on June 13, 2018. The family has waited for about a week in this Mexican border city, hoping for a chance to escape widespread violence in their home state. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico on June 13, 2018. The family has waited for about a week in this Mexican border city, hoping for a chance to escape widespread violence in their home state. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

 Immigrants from Guatemala and Cuba seeking asylum in the United States wait on the Matamoros International Bridge, Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Matamoros, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Immigrants from Guatemala and Cuba seeking asylum in the United States wait on the Matamoros International Bridge, Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Matamoros, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A few days earlier, two Honduran women _ one with a 12-year-old daughter and one with a year-old boy _ turned themselves into Border Patrol agents after a smuggler carried them on a makeshift raft across the Rio Grande and dropped them off on its muddy banks as the temperature hovered close to 100 degrees near McAllen, Texas. 

Agents the same day found Gerberht Charac, 19, and a fellow Guatemalan man on the roof of a trailer after they swam across the Rio Grande. Charac said he agreed to pay a smuggler $12,000 to get from Guatemala to Houston, where he planned to join a friend. 

"I had hopes of making it," Charac said, choking up as he explained that he just wanted to provide for his wife and daughter in Guatemala.

 A pedestrian on the Matamoros International Bridge passes Jennifer, 2, from Guatemala seeking asylum in the United States with her mother, Friday, June 29, 2018, in Matamoros, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A pedestrian on the Matamoros International Bridge passes Jennifer, 2, from Guatemala seeking asylum in the United States with her mother, Friday, June 29, 2018, in Matamoros, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

 Ruben Prado, an immigrant from Guatemala seeking asylum in the United States, waits on the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico on Sunday, June 24, 2018. Prado arrived at the bridge today after traveling for 20 days. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Ruben Prado, an immigrant from Guatemala seeking asylum in the United States, waits on the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico on Sunday, June 24, 2018. Prado arrived at the bridge today after traveling for 20 days. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 Immigrants from Cuba and Guatemala seeking asylum in the United States wait on the Matamoros International Bridge above the Rio Grande, Friday, June 29, 2018, in Matamoros, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Immigrants from Cuba and Guatemala seeking asylum in the United States wait on the Matamoros International Bridge above the Rio Grande, Friday, June 29, 2018, in Matamoros, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

 U.S. Border Patrol agent Rene Cisneros gives migrant Gerberht Caraac, from Guatemala, a pat-down after he was caught trying to illegally enter the United States, Monday, June 25, 2018, in Hidalgo, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

U.S. Border Patrol agent Rene Cisneros gives migrant Gerberht Caraac, from Guatemala, a pat-down after he was caught trying to illegally enter the United States, Monday, June 25, 2018, in Hidalgo, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 Immigrants in handcuffs and ankle chains arrive at the Federal Courthouse for hearings, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Immigrants in handcuffs and ankle chains arrive at the Federal Courthouse for hearings, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

 Immigrants in ankle chains disembark from a bus at the Federal Courthouse for hearings on Friday, June 22, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Immigrants in ankle chains disembark from a bus at the Federal Courthouse for hearings on Friday, June 22, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child as surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents after illegally crossing the border Monday, June 25, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child as surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents after illegally crossing the border Monday, June 25, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 A U.S. Border Patrol agent looks at one of border wall prototypes Thursday, June 28, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent looks at one of border wall prototypes Thursday, June 28, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

 Immigrant families line up to enter the central bus station after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Immigrant families line up to enter the central bus station after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 A transport officer, right, helps immigrants Dilma Araceley Riveria Hernandez, and her son, Anderson Alvarado, 2, get off the bus after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A transport officer, right, helps immigrants Dilma Araceley Riveria Hernandez, and her son, Anderson Alvarado, 2, get off the bus after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 An immigrant child looks out from a U.S. Border Patrol bus leaving as protesters block the street outside the U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center on Saturday, June 23, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An immigrant child looks out from a U.S. Border Patrol bus leaving as protesters block the street outside the U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center on Saturday, June 23, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 Immigrant families walk along a sidewalk on their way to a respite center after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Immigrant families walk along a sidewalk on their way to a respite center after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 An immigrant woman wears an ankle monitor as she walks through the central bus station after being processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An immigrant woman wears an ankle monitor as she walks through the central bus station after being processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Sunday, June 24, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 Immigrants from Guatemala seeking asylum look over travel packets as they wait at the bus station after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Immigrants from Guatemala seeking asylum look over travel packets as they wait at the bus station after they were processed and released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)