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Border Patrol Warns Immigrants of Life-Threatening Risks of Crossing Rio Grande River

Release Date: 
May 17, 2019

Del Rio, Texas –The Del Rio U.S. Border Patrol Sector is issuing a warning to immigrants not to risk their lives and the lives of their children by attempting to cross the Rio Grande River.

People crossing the Rio Grande are at the mercy of the unpredictable currents and deep waters.
People crossing the Rio Grande are
at the mercy of the unpredictable
currents and deep waters.

There is an alarming trend taking place along the border in the Del Rio Sector of undocumented immigrants with small children crossing the Rio Grande River. Once the groups begin to cross, they quickly realize the danger and are now at the mercy of the unpredictable currents and deep waters of the river. For fiscal year 2019, which began Oct. 1, 2018, Border Patrol agents have rescued more than 380 undocumented immigrants, including small children.

“It’s disturbing what is taking place on our borders and witnessed by our Border Patrol agents every day,” says Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Randy Davis. “This trend is not without tragic consequences. Border Patrol agents are rescuing people, but have also had the grim task of recovering deceased bodies including children as young as 10-months-old from the Rio Grande River.”

It is imperative that immigrants wishing to enter the United States do so through a designated port of entry. Attempting to cross the Rio Grande River especially with small children is not worth the risk. Children are drowning or are critically injured. In recent weeks, Border Patrol agents in Del Rio Sector have seen true tragedies and several near tragedies caused by immigrants who did not heed the warning. Do not risk your life and the lives of your children by attempting to cross the river.

On May 1, a raft carrying nine people capsized sending everyone on board into the water. Three people drowned including a 10-month-old boy, and a 7-year-old boy. A 7-year-old girl is still missing.

Since Oct. 1, 2018 to date, there have been 10 water related deaths reported in the Del Rio Sector. This is a 57 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

On Feb. 18, Border Patrol agents pulled an unconscious 12-year-old boy from the river. The agents performed CPR on the boy and resuscitated him.

On May 14, a woman lashed her 1-year-old child to her back and entered the river on an inner tube unaware that her child was submerged under water as she struggled with the current. The mother and child were rescued by Border Patrol agents and taken to a local hospital.

Yesterday on May 16, Border Patrol agents rescued a man that was trying to cross the river with a 3-month-old boy strapped to his chest. As the man struggled to stay afloat, the child was under water, nearly drowned, and is now suffering from water in his lungs.

Last modified: 
May 20, 2019