HIDALGO, Texas ̶̶ The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector, in collaboration with the Mission Fire Department along with representatives from the consulates of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, hosted a press event on Tuesday to raise awareness about the dangers smugglers expose immigrants to on their journey into the United States.
The event took place overlooking the Rio Grande with RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Kevin Oaks addressing the media concerning the dangers immigrants place themselves, and their families in when they decide to illegally enter the United States.
“It highlights the tragedy that a lot of these people encounter when coming for a better way of life.” CPA Oaks said. “It’s a tragedy and so we’re here today, united to do whatever we can to save as many lives to make this border safer.”
Also highlighted were three Border Patrol agents whose heroic efforts saved the lives of 10 immigrants. These agents are the definition of selfless service, as in the face of sudden danger they heroically dove into the Rio Grande to save complete strangers.
Additionally, this inter-agency event featured presentations by Mission Fire Department Deputy Chief Douglas Williams and Guatemalan Consul Allan Perez.
“Smugglers tell them the water is low so they can walk. Once they are in the middle, many start drowning, but the smugglers don’t care,” said Consul Perez. “They figure it is part of doing business and discount the losses. It is really sad telling fathers, mothers when they have lost someone.”
The Rio Grande Valley Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity, call the sector’s toll-free telephone number at 800-863-9382.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.