Migrants face long paths to the U.S.-Mexico border

Maritza Hernandez, a Honduran migrant, arrived at a Guatemalan border town tired and with two young kids.

In front of them were thousands of miles of dangerous terrain to the U.S.-Mexico border, where they were hopeful to cross into Texas and seek asylum.

"Because I saw in the news that they were letting the children pass, I decided to come."

Hunger, poverty, and natural disasters are spurring their flight, but also disinformation.

Myths on social media and through word of mouth have spread that U.S. border policy has changed drastically and is now wide open.

Director of Mexico's Chihuahua State Border issues, Enrique Valenzuela, is trying to debunk those with facts about current immigration policy.

"It's not true that the door has been widely opened by the United States. They will be condemned to stay here at the border or as many others, end up returning to where they're from."

The number of immigrant families apprehended by U.S. agents along the southern border nearly tripled in February from a month earlier to about 19,000 people.

Although more than half of families with children last month were allowed into the U.S. under President Joe Biden, most are turned away.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to enforce a Trump-era policy of returning most border crossers to Mexico.

In February alone, over 70% of such migrants were rapidly deported, according to U.S official border data and weeks ago. Biden told ABC News a message to migrants, "Don't come over."

The U.S. State Department has also worked to limit migration by placing ads in local languages with radio stations in a number of Central American countries to discourage migration.

Despite that, the sumggler trade has boomed in the hamlet of La Tecnica, in Guatemala, where canoes whisk hundreds of U.S.-bound migrants across the Usumacinta River to an unguarded border with Mexico.

Some are lucky and make it, others are not.

It's just one of many stops along the precarious journey.