WATCH: Smugglers, cartels and the U.S. detention industry making billions off of desperate migrants

Carlos and his 6-year-old daughter Heyli traveled nearly 1,700 miles together from Honduras to reach the U.S. border — and what they hoped would be the start of a new, better life — only to be separated by more than 1,200 miles shortly after they surrendered to Border Patrol agents and requested asylum. Along the way, they became small players in a shadowy, multi-billion dollar global enterprise: the smuggling of human beings for profit.

In this documentary, The Texas Tribune and TIME traced their journey and investigated the booming smuggling industry that has thrived as the U.S. government seeks to close America's southern border and record numbers of migrant families make the long trek north.

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