At a migrant shelter in Reynosa, one of the country’s most dangerous cities, BuzzFeed News spoke with four families who are weighing whether to make another attempt at the border or come up with a Plan B — unfathomable for those who fled their countries afraid for their lives.

As Claudia walked past Mexican immigration agents at the bridge connecting Reynosa and Hidalgo, Texas, ready to show their US counterparts proof of her brother’s murder and the risk it presented to the rest of the family, they advised her to turn around because “your kids will be taken from you.”

Patricia tried to cross the bridge with her 7-year-old son to ask for asylum two weeks ago but US authorities turned them around. They never gave her a reason…

“I would go insane if they take them from me,” said Piedad, sitting under a tree in the shelter’s main courtyard. Her surname and those of others BuzzFeed News spoke with in this story are being withheld for fear of their safety. “What meaning is there for a mother without her children?”