Some were carrying sleeping babies. One toddler followed her mother, wrapped in a silver heat blanket. Many smiled as they passed by the local nonprofit that helps migrants reach their families in the U.S. after an exhausting time in a cramped camp close to the border bridge that connects Del Rio with Ciudad Acuna (Mexico).
Dave, who didn’t want to share his last name because he feared a backlash for trying to help people who entered the U.S. illegally, didn’t see his friend Ruth in this group. he was wearing the bright safety vest so could spot him when arrived with her wife and 3-year-old daughter.
“I feel like my friend’s time is worth my effort to come down and assist,” said to The Associated Press.
On Tuesday, Dave set out from his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, and made the nearly 1,300-mile (2,092-kilometer) drive to Del Rio, where up to 15,000 migrants suddenly crossed in from Mexico this month, most of them Haitian and many seeking asylum.
The 64-year-old met Ruth over a decade ago during a Christian mission to Haiti. Dave used to send Ruth cash for a little girl he ‘ promised he ‘d help. Ruth made sure that the girl had everything she needed.
Last month, Ruth , her relatives, left South America where they lived briefly after fleeing poverty in the Caribbean to seek refuge in America. Dave said to Ruth that he ‘ would be there to drive them to her sisters house in Ohio.
” I see it as an opportunity for somebody to serve,” he stated. “We have so many .”
The nonprofit, the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition has received numerous drop-offs by U.S. Border Patrol officers since the sudden influx to Del Rio became America’s most pressing immigration problem. Tiffany Burrow, the director of the organization, stated that the group assisted more than one ,600 Haitianmigrant from Monday to Friday. They also helped them with their resettlement and travel needs.
This is not a new concept for Burrow who has seen more Haitian migrants enter Del Rio since January. However, this latest wave has overwhelmed her small group.
It’s a new volume. Burrow explained to the AP that the eyes of the entire world are focused on us this time.
As Dave stood waiting for Friday’s next bus, he moved a child seat in the back seat of his vehicle. It was for Ruth‘s toddler and was the first thing he spotted when he stopped at a thrift store on his way out of Toledo. He saw it as a sign he was doing right.
Ruth and her family had spent the past week at the bridge camp and Dave had been communicating with her through WhatsApp. But all communication stopped Thursday around noon, and he said Ruth‘s sister in Ohio also hadn’t heard from her.
Still, Dave waited and looked through a list containing “what ifs.” He wondered aloud whether her cell phone had died, or if she were in a Border Patrol facility that strictly enforces electronic device regulations. He laughed and said, “I’m putting lots of faith in my smartphone.”
Like , Dr. Pierre Moreau traveled from Miami to Del Rio to assist. He is a Haitian immigrant and a U.S Navy veteran. He saw the horror and booked a flight.
That was terrible. Moreau stated, “My heart was breaking.” “And I told My wife that I was coming. She said, “Go .”
Moreau didn’t have any plan. He just had a rental car with toiletries and supplies that he wanted to give out to all the migrants he encountered.”
” I’m worried about my sisters and brothers. He said that he was also concerned about the treatment of these people.
As he waited for his car, Ruth exclaimed about how hard Ruth worked to get to the United States. This dream she has held on to for more than a decade. He said he knows she‘ll do the same in the U.S. and that all he‘s doing is giving her and her small family a leg up.
I help them with the first step,” Dave stated. “And they’ll be running .”
Next time you see them, like a little kid, every time a Border Patrol van or bus pulled up to the coalition Dave , and his Yellow vest would cross the street. He watched as each migrant climbed out. He tried to see Ruth ,, and he thought it was her .. “That sounded just like Ruth‘s voice,” he said.
As news broke Friday about the camp being cleared, Dave still believed that she ‘ would arrive. But 10 hours after he pulled up, the coalition announced it had received its last busload and that no more migrants would be arriving from the camp.
This wave was, at least, over for Del Rio . Burrow stated that there would likely be more.
“Right now we’re in an endless cycle,” she stated. “We’re learning to work with it.”
Dave stood up from his folding chair and started walking back to his car. He still hadn’t heard anything from Ruth and he again speculated as to where she and her family might be, including that they could have been sent on a deportation flight back to Haiti.
“I cringe when I hear the beep that it’s going to be the wrong message,” Dave said. “But I keep trying to hope. I don’t know what else I can do.”
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