CBP Statement: Undocumented Migrants Drown Near Eagle Pass, TX
On June 22, 2021, at approximately 8:30 PM, U.S. Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) assigned to the Eagle Pass, TX, Border Patrol Station responded to a report of a group of suspected undocumented migrants in a rural area northeast of Eagle Pass, TX. Upon arriving in the area, the BPAs discovered footprints and other evidence of people having passed through the area and spent several hours attempting to locate them. BPAs located the group approximately 20 miles northeast of Eagle Pass, TX, during the early morning hours of June 23, 2021. The BPAs approached the migrants while they were resting, and the group began to flee. The BPAs followed the group for several minutes until they heard yelling in the distance. Shortly thereafter, the BPAs discovered several migrants in a large man-made lake; they were panicking and in need of assistance.
BPAs began helping several migrants get out of the lake, while two BPAs removed their duty belts and swam into deeper water to rescue other migrants that were struggling to stay afloat. In the darkness, the BPAs located and rescued one man who was drowning, and they pulled him from the lake to safety. The BPAs returned and checked an area of the lake where backpacks were floating. BPAs subsequently discovered a male Guatemalan citizen, unresponsive. The BPAs pulled him out of the lake, began CPR, and called EMS.
Several BPAs performed CPR for approximately 32 minutes; despite their efforts, the man could not be resuscitated and was ultimately declared dead by the Maverick County Justice of the Peace. The group of migrants reported an additional member of the group was missing. BPAs from the Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue Team (BORSTAR) conducted a recovery operation utilizing divers and located a second male Guatemalan citizen deceased in the lake.
The Maverick County Sheriff’s Department and the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility are reviewing the incident. The DHS Office of Inspector General was also notified of the incident.