After anxious minutes of indecision, dozens of families rushed into the river to cross where there was only one municipal police vehicle, believing it was best to take their chances with the US authorities.
Guileme Paterson, a 36-year-old Haitian, looked stunned. “It’s a tough time,” she said before starting to cross with her husband and their four children.
“Things are bad,” said Michou Petion, carrying his 2-year-old son to the river. Her husband carried bags of personal effects and several pairs of sneakers hung around her neck.
“The US deports a lot to Haiti, now I don’t know if I can get in or out,” Petion said.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials allowed reporters to visit the camp but prevented them from speaking to the migrants. For those who remained, food, shelter and medical attention were provided, US officials said.
Sharpton said Thursday he had visited the camp and witnessed “truly catastrophic and human shame”. A handful of protesters, some wearing former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign camouflage hats, shouted through Sharpton’s remarks.
Sharpton pledged to “keep coming back … and standing by our people and making sure that asylum is treated in a way and in a way.”