Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents found the bodies of two migrants floating in the Rio Grande border river that separates Texas and Mexico. The agents found the bodies within a few hours and less than a mile apart on June 7.
Riverine agents from the Eagle Pass Station came across the first body while patrolling the river near Eagle Pass Bridge Number 1, according to information obtained from Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials. The agents contacted the Eagle Pass Fire Department and local law enforcement officials to recover the body and process the remains.
Riverine agents patrolling less than one-half mile away found the second body floating in the river about three hours later. The Eagle Pass Fired Department also carried out the recovery effort for the second deceased migrant.
“The recovery of the deceased is a grim task that Border Patrol agents too often carry out,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Attempting to cross the Rio Grande is dangerous even under the best of conditions and many times it ends in tragedy.”
Del Rio Sector officials said these two deceased migrants brings the sector’s death toll to 17 for this fiscal year. The fiscal year began on October 1, 2018 and runs through September 30, 2019.
So far this year, at least 129 migrants, including seven children, died while or shortly after crossing the border from Mexico into the United States. At least 82 of those were found in Texas, according to the International Organization for Migrants’ Missing Migrants Project.
U.S. Border Patrol Chief of Law Enforcement Operations Brian Hastings told reporters during a recent press call that the number of rescues of migrants is increasing dramatically this year.
“So far this fiscal year, the men and women of the Border Patrol have done over 3,000 rescues,” Hastings told the reporters. “We’ve seen a massive increase in the amount of water-related rescues that are taking place — primarily in Del Rio, RGV, and Laredo’s areas of operation.”
“Water-related rescues alone have gone up 907 percent this fiscal year,” the chief explained. “They’ve (the rescues) have gone from 51 in Fiscal Year 18 to 514 during Fiscal Year 19. That means, a lot of times, risking their lives to save the lives of others.”