Haitian Migrants Followed Instructions to Texas via WhatsApp
In SummaryHaitian migrant Fabricio Jean made his journey to the Texas border by following instructions sent to him via WhatsApp.
From Chile to the United States, Haitian migrant Fabricio Jean followed instructions given to him by his brother via WhatsApp. His brother, who is now in New Jersey, recently took the same route to the Texas border. With his knowledge of safe routes, funds needed and areas to avoid, his brother had it all planned out.
“You will need about 20,000 pesos (about $1,000 U.S. dollars) for the buses. You need to take this bus to this location and then take another bus,” recounted Jean, who spoke to The Associated Press after reaching a town bordering Del Rio, Texas.
Although Jean had a strategic plan, he was surprised to see thousands of Haitian migrants crossing the same spot. The use of apps like Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp allows for migrants to share information.
Last week, a Facebook group for Haitians in Chile containing 26,000 members received an announcement from a member who posted detailed instructions on routes through Mexico. The post included routes to avoid and specific bus companies, AP News reported.
“Good luck and be careful,” the post read, written in Haitian Creole.
A 32-year-old mother who arrived to Del Rio with her two teenage children purchased bus tickets to Mexico City after receiving a cousin’s audio message through WhatsApp.
“Wait in Mexico until this month is over. They will pick up everyone under the bridge. After that, they will give me the contact to enter Miami,” said the recording in Creole, which she played for an AP reporter. To protect the woman’s safety, the AP is withholding the woman’s name.