Desperate and exhausted, the migrants gathered around a tree that offered them some shade from the unforgiving sun.

They had traveled from countries throughout Latin America, including Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru and Venezuela. Some of them were parents traveling with small children, including toddlers. Others were young men. Some of the teenagers appeared to be unaccompanied minors traveling without their parents.

All of them shared a common goal: entering the U.S., which was just a few yards away. But standing in their way were miles of razor wire and other barriers erected by the state of Texas at the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott to deter migrants from crossing into the U.S. illegally.