Fact-checking the migrant caravan situation

Thousands of Central American migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are marching toward the U.S. They've walked thousands of miles seeking refuge from the gang violence and corruption that plague their homelands.

In a campaign rally in Houston, President Trump pledged that voting Republicans into office would ensure tougher immigration policies, including his proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico.

MPR News host Kerri Miller sat down with Sonia Nazario, the author of "Enrique's Journey" and New York Times contributing opinion writer, to fact-check the rhetoric surrounding the migrant caravan.

Here are five interesting takeaways from the conversation:

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• "In the United States people think the most dangerous part of coming here is crossing the U.S.-Mexico border — and hundreds do die doing that — but thousands are kidnapped," Nazario said.

• "I think people don't fully understand it is a legal process to present yourself at our border and ask for safety from our government and that is largely what these people in this caravan are planning on doing," Nazario said.

• Despite Trump's criticism, Mexico is stopping immigrants from getting to the U.S. Mexico deports about 160,000 Central Americans a year, which is more than the U.S.

• Half of migrants who have a lawyer present for their asylum hearings win their cases. Nine in ten who do not have a lawyer lose theirs. Children are not entitled to a lawyer and many of them enter court alone.

• "In 2015 the U.S. Congress more than doubled foreign aid to Central America in an attempt to address these root causes of this mass migration," Nazario said. "And that's the only way you're going to stop the caravans to be quite frank."

You can listen to the full discussion using the audio player above.