NOGALES, Mexico — Eighteen-year-old Joshua escaped violence in Guatemala with his father two months ago and has ended up just steps away from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Saying that gangs control almost all of Guatemala, he says they will likely request asylum in the United States.
The Kino Border Initiative , headquartered in Nogales, Arizona, helps provide for those fleeing danger who end up like Joshua: far from home and uncertain about the future.
"A lot of people are fleeing violence in the northern part of Central America and parts of southern Mexico," said Fr. Sean Carroll. "That reality is not changing."
Immigration figures show that before 2013, only one in 100 asylum seekers was able to convince authorities they faced a credible fear of violence in their home country, a crucial step toward qualifying for asylum.
Now, one out of every ten applicants is able to meet that standard.
The asylum process has been under intense political scrutiny as thousands of people have organized into large groups and moved to seek a better life in the United States.
The caravans have drawn increasing criticism from President Trump and others in the White House, who have looked for ways to thwart the migrants' ability to enter the U.S. or request asylum.
For Joshua, he says he has one request for immigration officials: do him the favor of saving his life.