Eight migrants found dead in a river along the US-Mexico border
Eight migrants attempting to enter the United States along the southern border were found dead in the Rio Grande, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who discovered the bodies on Thursday following an illegal crossing attempt by several dozen migrants in the Rio Grande responded near Eagle Pass. Texas.
Border Police officers detained 53 migrants during the incident, officials said, including 37 people who were rescued from the river dividing the US and Mexico. Mexican officers took custody of another 39 migrants across the Rio Grande, CBP said on Friday.
According to a statement released by CBP, US border officials have recovered six of the deceased bodies, while their counterparts in the Mexican government discovered two bodies. Richard Pauza, a spokesman for the agency, said the bodies were discovered in the river.
“Border Police agents are coordinating with the Eagle Pass Fire Department and Maverick County Sheriff’s Office as the search for other possible victims continues,” Pauza added.
Unlawful crossings along the US-Mexico border can sometimes be deadly. CBP has been tracking the deaths of migrants in the Rio Grande, remote areas of the borderlands and canals. Mexican officials reported this last weekof a 5-year-old Guatemalan girl trying to cross the Rio Grande with her mother.
Even when migrants successfully enter the US, the migratory journey can still be deadly, as illustrated by the death of 53 migrants in an abandoned semi-trailer truck in Texas earlier this summer, the deadliest suspected human smuggling case in US history.
The International Organization for Migration, a United Nations-affiliated group, reported 728 migrant deaths along the US-Mexico border in 2021, a record officials said is likely too low due to data collection limitations.
Like many other parts of the US-Mexico border, the Del Rio sector, Texas, where the recent drowning suspects took place, has seen an unprecedented spike in migrant arrests over the past year. Border Patrol agents in Del Rio recorded 376,000 migrant arrests in the first 10 months of fiscal 2022, a 45% increase from 2021, CBP data shows.
U.S. immigration officials along the Mexico border have reported more than 1.8 million arrests in fiscal 2022, a new record high that CBP figures say is likely to surpass 2 million when fiscal 2023 begins in October.