Families DividedMore in this series
Many families arriving at U.S. ports of entry to seek asylum left their home countries months before recent changes in how border and immigration officials handle their requests went into effect.
Walter and Helen Vindel say they left Honduras with their four children this year to escape gangs that killed relatives and extorted money from them. By the time they arrived in Matamoros, Mexico, to cross a bridge and seek asylum at a Brownsville border station, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had ruled that people fleeing only gang or domestic violence don't necessarily qualify for asylum.
On a Sunday in June, the Vindel family waited on the bridge with other migrants as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents prevented many from making it on to U.S. soil to begin the asylum process.