DEL RIO, Texas — They have arrived this week by the thousands, Haitians who had heard of an easy way into the United States. In what appeared to be an endless procession across the shallow waters of the Rio Grande, they carried mattresses, fruit, diapers and blankets, provisions to tide them over while they awaited their turn to plead for entry into America.
For so many, it had been a journey years in the making.
“A friend of mine told me to cross here. I heard it was easier,” said Mackenson, a 25-year-old Haitian who spoke on the condition that his last name not be published. He and his pregnant wife had traveled from Tapachula, Mexico, near the country’s border with Guatemala, where they had been living after earlier stops over the last three years in Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Panama. “It took us two months to get here on foot and by bus.”