Inside a Mexican cartel stash house holding migrants crossing into the U.S.

Puerto de Anapra is one of the poorest communities in the state of Chihuahua, dominated by the Juarez Cartel. It also backs right up to the border fence — making it the perfect spot for migrants looking to cross illegally.

JUAREZ, Chihuahua — Along Mexico’s border with the U.S., the last stops for migrants preparing to cross illegally are cartel-controlled stash houses just feet from the border fence.

They’re often a place where drugs and trafficked migrants are held before transportation across the border. They’re also a waypoint for Central American migrants who have paid their own way north.

In one stash house, operated by a man who told VICE News his name is Victor, migrants stay anywhere from a few days to weeks. They scale the border fence behind his house with a ladder, then wait for a train that runs along the border to slow down enough and they hang off the sides until it slows again near the University of Texas at El Paso campus.

One migrant, a 27-year-old pharmacy manager from Guatemala who did not want her name used, said she was deported once efore, and was waiting at the stash house to make her second crossing attempt. She paid about $400 to be transported from Guatemala to Juarez. She says nothing, including President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, would deter her from trying to cross again.

This segment originally aired June 28, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.