Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, gathered under the international bridge between Ciudad Acuña, Mexico and Del Rio, Texas, this week, as U.S. border patrol officers worked as quickly as possible for them. to treat, The New York Times reports.
The makeshift and temporary camp and sordid scenes of “dense crowds sleeping on the earth” have since drawn wide condemnation from local officials and the public. But according to interviews with 10 migrant families conducted by the Houston Chronicle, even those who made the dangerous journey did not expect such difficulty on arrival.
Some migrants told the the Chronicle they were “completely bewildered by the amount of people waiting to cross” and “expected this to be an easier process”. Said Herys Salvador Peña, who traveled from the Dominican Republic rather than Haiti: “I didn’t know there would be so many people.
Other Haitian migrants said they had been told by friends or contacts that Ciudad Acuña was “the easiest and safest place to cross and that it was open, unlike other parts of the border” . A man, Jonathan Cadely Ely, heard that Acuña was the perfect entry point from a friend who had already made the trip. And when travelers collect such information, it travels to others via word-of-mouth or WhatsApp, in the hopes of alleviating an already dangerous trip.
“When we have a good route, we let the people traveling behind us know,” Ely said. Read more at Houston Chronicle.