Using makeshift ladders to top a fence sounds almost quaint, but it is an evermore common practice illegal immigrants employ to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in Hidalgo, according to a local news report.
The grounds keeper at the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse, a museum located at the border, tells News 5 KRGV he often sees illegal immigrants crossing the border into the U.S. and finds what they leave behind.
“I would count up to 60 to 70 people running,” Gerarldo Reyes told the ABC affiliate.
“Wooden ladders, ladders made of aluminum and ropes to lower themselves down from the ladder, all those things you would see,” he added, noting that he now uses at least one of the aluminum ladders he found.
More ladders were removed from along the border Thursday. Reyes said that often the Texas Game Wardens take the ladders only to have illegal immigrants and smugglers replace them with more.
Border Patrol agent Isaac Villegas told News 5 that smugglers will place the ladders in places along the border in order to provide a method to get illegal immigrants over the fence, something Villegas warns against.
“That smuggler is not going to call 911 for you,” Villegas said. “He’s not going to help you in any way, so we definitely want to discourage that.”
Villegas noted that sometimes illegal immigrants attempting to cross with ladders fall and Border Patrol has ended up having to get at least one recent attempted crosser medical care.