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Broken Border

Watch: In a Guatemalan town where migrants cross, Trump's policies have hit hard

In La Técnica, the boats used to zip migrants across the river into Mexico, as well as hotels, restaurants and money changers had a brisk business. But now business has dried up.

Roughly 700 people live in La Técnica, Guatemala, which sits in a rainforest and owes its existence to two kinds of tourists. The first are the traditional tourists who come to the Mexican side of the Usumacinta River and hire small boats from La Técnica to take them to Mayan ruins in Mexico.

The second kind are the migrants, who pay a few dollars to take those same boats from La Técnica to the Mexican side of the river so they can continue their journey toward the United States — where they hope to find asylum after leaving countries like Honduras that have been wracked by violence.

A year ago, this smuggler's hub was booming as migrants streamed north, stopping at the restaurants and hotels that crowd La Técnica's main road. But now that President Donald Trump's recent policies to deter asylum seekers have taken hold — and U.S. threats of tariffs convinced the Mexican government to help block migrants from crossing through its territory — the residents of La Técnica say business has slowed to a trickle.

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