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Central Americans Hope to Reach US Before Trump Inauguration

Central Americans Hope to Reach US Before Trump InaugurationCentral Americans Hope to Reach US Before Trump Inauguration

Central American countries warned on Thursday that large numbers of migrants have fled their poor, violent homes since Donald Trump's surprise election win, hoping to reach the United States before he takes office next year.

Trump won the Nov. 8 vote by taking a hard line on immigration, threatening to deport millions of people living illegally in the United States and to erect a wall along the Mexican border, Reuters reported. Trump's tough campaign rhetoric sent tremors through the slums of Central America and the close-knit migrant communities in U.S. cities, with many choosing to fast-forward their plans and migrate north before Trump takes office on Jan. 20.

During fiscal year 2016, the United States detained nearly 410,000 people along the southwest border with Mexico, up about a quarter from the previous year. The vast majority hail from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Since Trump's victory, the number of people flocking north has surged, Central American officials say, contributing to a growing logjam along the southern U.S. border.

"We're worried because we're seeing a rise in the flow of migrants leaving the country, who have been urged to leave by coyotes telling them that they have to reach the United States before Trump takes office," Maria Andrea Matamoros, Honduras' deputy foreign minister, told Reuters, referring to people smugglers.

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