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Infant passes away after crossing the border with mother

Release Date: 
September 24, 2021

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas - Border Patrol Agents assigned to the U.S. Border Patrol Station in Rio Grande City, Texas, encountered a large group of migrants approximately nine and one quarter miles southeast of the Rio Grande City Port of Entry at approximately 2:30 a.m. on September 20, 2021.  The migrants turned themselves in to the agents after crossing the Rio Grande River.  The Border Patrol Agents escorted the group to a nearby unimproved roadway to field process the group.

During the initial intake process, a female citizen of Honduras informed a Border Patrol Agent that her two-month-old daughter, citizen of Honduras, was ill.  The agent immediately requested a Border Patrol Emergency Medical Technician; however, there were no EMTs nearby.  A Supervisory Border Patrol Agent on scene responded to assess the situation.  The mother told the Supervisory Border Patrol Agent that her daughter had a fever and had been ill with a cough and diarrhea for the previous six days.  Due to the urgency of the situation and to ensure clear communications, the agent called 911 via cell phone and requested Emergency Medical Services for the infant.

The infant was heavily clothed and wrapped in a blanket.  Border Patrol Agents instructed the mother to remove the multiple layers of clothing.  To ensure the infant received medical treatment as quickly as possible, the Supervisory Border Patrol Agent decided to transport the infant and her mother in his U.S. Border Patrol vehicle to U.S. Highway 83, approximately two miles away to meet EMS.  The Supervisory Border Patrol Agent reported the infant’s eyes were open, she was breathing, and making noises at the time the mother and child got into the vehicle.  Upon arriving at Highway 83 approximately 4 minutes later, the Supervisory Border Patrol Agent exited the vehicle to further assess the infant and discovered the infant was not breathing and he was unable to locate a pulse.  As the Supervisory Border Patrol Agent prepared to perform CPR, Starr County EMS arrived at the location and began to treat the infant.  Starr County EMS subsequently transported the mother and child to the Starr County Memorial Hospital. Approximately eleven minutes after their arrival at the hospital, the infant succumbed to her ailments and was declared deceased by medical staff.

The Starr County Justice of the Peace and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility are reviewing the incident.  The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General was also notified of the incident.

Last modified: 
September 24, 2021