MCALLEN, Texas — Along the route through Mexico, no one was really sure how to say Trump’s name. Smugglers called him ‘‘El Malo’’ (the bad one) or ‘‘El Feo’’ (the ugly one) and told the migrants they had better hurry north before his wall went up.
The US agents who took them into custody said he would be president, and it was a new day at the border.
‘‘They said it to the whole group: We would all be deported because Trump won,’’ said Octavio de Leon, 43, a Guatemalan who was detained with his son while crossing into Texas right after the election.
President-elect Donald Trump has promised major change to the US immigration system at a time when Central American families are flowing into the United States in growing numbers, many fleeing warlike conditions and poverty. The US Border Patrol has captured more migrants over the past three months than during the same period in each of the past five years.