Among the nearly 14,000 mostly Haitian migrants camped on the banks of the Rio Grande River, a few considered lucky were being processed by immigration officials and planned to head further north from the border town.
Walson Etienne waited at a Del Rio, Texas, gas station with a plane ticket in his hand. Pulling out his smartphone, he showcased his travel itinerary — a flight to Dallas-Fort Worth, then to Laguardia International Airport in New York City, where he said he planned to stay with family.
A Port-au-Prince native, Etienne worked as a construction worker in Chile before starting his journey north to the Mexico-United States border two months ago. He had lost his job last year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and he could not fathom returning to Haiti.
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