United States immigration officials have launched a media campaign in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where poverty and violence has caused a wave of migration to the US over the past year.
Many of those crossing the border illegally are unaccompanied children, over 50,000 since October according to official figures.
US president Barack Obama called a meeting with the leaders of the three Central American nations on Friday and urged them to strike at the root causes what he called a humanitarian crisis on the border between the US and Mexico.
“We have seen a tremendous spike in activity over the last few months that we’ve been out here. We launched our boats in early June, we launched two boats and we’ve been operating 24/7 since then. We’ve seen a definite increase in activity, said Lieutenant Charlie Goble from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol and Tactical Marine Unit.
Officials in the border state of Texas say are up against a very sophisticated network of smugglers.
The US administration has been asking Congress for more resources and authority to halt the flow of migrants across the border.