DEL RIO, Texas — Something strange is happening here in remote Val Verde County, Texas: the whole world is showing up. In recent months, migrants from far-flung places like Haiti, Venezuela, Africa, and even Uzbekistan have appeared on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, and waded across. Their numbers include families with small children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
Not all of them make it. Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez says he and his deputies have seen nine drownings in the county since January — already double last year’s total. The first one was on Jan. 17, a 33-year-old woman from Haiti. “She was pregnant with twins, at term. So we’re counting all three.”
Residents of this vast stretch of Texas borderland, which sits about 150 miles west of San Antonio and shares more than 100 miles of border with the Mexican state of Coahuila, say nothing like this has ever happened before. In years past, a modest number