WhatsApp, Social Posts Helped Lead Haitian Migrants To Texas

Migrants, many from Haiti, are seen at an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The options remaining for thousands of Haitian migrants straddling the Mexico-Texas border are narrowing as the United States government ramps up to an expected six expulsion flights to Haiti and Mexico began busing some away from the border. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

(AP) — A confluence of factors caused the sudden arrival of thousands of mostly Haitian migrants on the Texas border this month.

Descriptions from Haitian migrants and advocates in contact with them reveal a phenomena produced by confusion over the Biden administration’s policies after it extended protections for the 150,000 Haitians living in the United States this spring.

They say it also reflects the power of social media and platforms like WhatsApp, used by migrants to share tips and information that often gets distorted and can quickly go viral within an immigrant community and change migration flows.


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