In 2017, the bodies or remains of 52 illegal aliens were found in one South Texas county. They died at the hands of human smugglers attempting to move them around the centrally-located U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint.
“We had 52 people die in our county this year while trying to bypass the Falfurrias Checkpoint,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview on Wednesday. “They die because these callous human smugglers have no regard for human life. These people are just cargo to them.”
Martinez said the only good thing about this number is that it is less than the previous year. In 2016, 61 illegal immigrants died in Brooks County. This represents a decrease of about 15 percent.
“We have worked very hard this year with our partners to reduce the number of deaths in our county,” Martinez explained. “The U.S. Border Patrol and Texas Department of Public Safety have both increased their presence in the county. The number of rescues in the brush by Border Patrol agents helped keep the number down.
The number could have been much lower in 2017 were it not for a cold snap that hit the region in mid-December. Brooks County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Border Patrol agents recovered the bodies of eight migrants between December 7 and 14, Breitbart Texas reported.
Nationally, nearly 300 illegal aliens died during Fiscal Year 2017. Brooks County accounted for about 10 to 15 percent of the reported deaths.
Martinez expressed concern for 2018 as the opening of an expanded Border Patrol checkpoint in his county will likely force more people into the brush.
“The more people that are pushed into the ranchlands with these human smugglers, the more deaths we are likely to have,” the sheriff explained. “These smugglers just don’t care about the lives of these people. If they fall behind for any reason — these smugglers abandon them and leave them for dead.”
Some are lucky enough to find their way to a roadway for help. Some have cell phones and manage to call for help,” Martinez stated. “In 2017, 52 of these people had neither and died agonizing deaths from dehydration, heat exhaustion, or hypothermia.”