Updated 6:54 PM EDT, Tue March 16, 2021
Children and families rafting across the Rio Grande. Overcrowded detention facilities. Camps where desperate migrants wait to cross.
These are some of the scenes playing out now at the US-Mexico border, where the number of migrants crossing is already so high that the head of Homeland Security says officials "are on pace to encounter more individuals on the Southwest border than we have in the last 20 years."
The reasons migrants are coming are shifting, too, with a pandemic devastating many countries' economies and a string of recent natural disasters displacing people and destroying their homes.
Photos of what's unfolding at the border show how the situation is intensifying — and give an important window into the lives that hang in the balance.