‘I'm Thankful': Haitian Migrant Recounts Long Journey to the US

The 26-year-old was on a long journey from Brazil to Mexico.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Last week, Vernelise Isaac was one of the thousands of Haitian migrants sleeping under the Del Rio bridge in Texas

"We were hungry. We were cold. We slept on grass," Isaac said. "There was nothing else for us to do. When we realized there was no food, we had no money. So we did the best we could with the situation. Most of us just fell asleep on the grass."

Fast forward to Friday, Isaac is now safe and sound, staying with family in Miami — happiness she says is bittersweet. She got separated from her husband once they got to the border and doesn’t know where he is.

Several nonprofits and churches have traveled to the border to help Haitian migrants. Many say they were devastated by the images of people and children living under a bridge and jumped into action. NBC 6's Kim Wynne reports

"In one way, I’m happy. I’m thankful. I thank God for allowing me to make the journey, allowing me to be here," Isaac said. "On the other hand, I’m not happy. I’m concerned about my husband."

The 26-year-old was on a long journey from Brazil to Mexico. She passed through 10 other countries, sometimes driving, but she also spent days walking to the border.

Roughly 15,000 Haitian migrants share her story, seeking refuge in the U.S.

On Friday, U.S. officials said there are no more migrants camped under the bridge. Thousands are now in U.S. custody, have been deported to Haiti, or are returning to Mexico.

Isaac considers herself lucky. She only slept under the bridge for one night and was processed the next day. She showed NBC 6 the paperwork she got during processing and will have to bring those documents to court in October.

As for her next step, she says it will be to reunite with her husband.

"I feel a little bit tormented. I’m separated from my husband. I have no news of him, where he is or how he’s doing," she said.

Contact Us