"We are afraid to go out to the streets, because it's very dangerous and people say things, and we have seen other people coming back saying they were kidnapped, or that they saw something, or they know it's dangerous here, so we'd rather stay inside. In the fifty days we spent here, we went out only twice."
4. Venezuelan migrants Linerio Gonzalez and Ana Paolini
"So we go to the United States and are sent back here again, that's dangerous for us. We are back here in Nuevo Laredo, and it's dangerous and we can't be walking alone in the streets because we can be taken or kidnapped, or we can be killed. That's what we are told here."
6. Mexico-US border crossing entrance
7. Various of migrants walking towards US side of the border
As the United States tries to slow the flow of mostly Central American migrants and asylum seekers to its southern border and pressures Mexico to assist, monthslong stays on the Mexican side of the frontier have become the rule for many.
The migrants' situation is especially precarious in Tamaulipas, home to Nuevo Laredo and one of Mexico's most violent states, where organized crime is dominant and the U.S. government tells its own employees not to set foot in nearly all parts.
For the 1,800 or so asylum seekers and migrants currently stuck in Nuevo Laredo waiting for a chance at refuge in the United States, fear is palpable and stories of harrowing experiences are common.
Some asylum seekers said arriving at the U.S. border initially seemed like a victory, but being sent back to Mexico sapped them of hope.
Doris Villegas, her husband and their two teenage children left their home in crisis-stricken Venezuela, hoping for a stable life in the United States.
They waited 50 days in Nuevo Laredo before they were able to apply for refuge, and then were promptly sent back to wait for a Sept. 19 hearing.
"We are afraid to go out to the streets, because it's very dangerous" Villegas said. "In the 50 days we spent here, we went out only twice."
Linerio Gonzalez and Ana Paolini, also from Venezuela, are afraid to be back in Nuevo Laredo.
"We are back here in Nuevo Laredo, and it's dangerous," said a visibly concerned Linerio Gonzalez.
"We can't be walking alone in the streets because we can be taken or kidnapped, or we can be killed."
Migrants' advocacy groups have criticized the U.S. decision to return asylum seekers to Mexico under the policy that began in January, and particularly its rollout to Tamaulipas.
The group said 45% of migrants to whom it provided health care between January and May suffered some kind of violence while waiting to cross into the United States, and "most of our patients don't go out on the streets because the risk of kidnapping is imminent."
The U.S. State Department warns citizens to avoid all travel to Tamaulipas due to widespread crime and kidnapping, and the state's highways are the scene of all sorts of smuggling.
On Wednesday, 112 Central Americans were rescued from an overcrowded tractor-trailer.
Drug gangs and splinter groups have long fought for control.
Nuevo Laredo is considered a "crown jewel" for smugglers with its bridge crossings handling over 60 percent of exports to the United States.