TENOSIQUE, Tabasco — Unable to find work and terrified by the street gangs that brazenly roamed the streets, Karen Zaldivar was one of tens of thousands of young people who fled Honduras in 2014.
Caught trying to slip across the U.S.-Mexico border, she was promptly deported.
Asylum applications in Mexico nearly tripled over three years, hitting 3,424 in 2015. Asylum requests this year are poised to be twice that, human rights advocates say, with most filed by Hondurans and Salvadorans.
The number of migrants seeking to stay in Mexico pales in comparison to the droves heading to the U.S. — more than 400,000 people were apprehended at the U.S. southern border in the fiscal year that ended in September, most of them from Central America.
But the burden on Mexico and other countries is likely to increase if President-elect Donald Trump makes good on his promises to beef up border security and deport up to 3 million people living in the U.S. illegally.
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