Migrant deaths in one Texas county connected to human smuggling jumped to a fast start in the first two months of 2018.
Border Patrol agents and Brooks County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies recovered the remains of 14 migrants in January and February.
“The freezing conditions in December and January took a toll on illegal immigrants attempting to circumvent the Border Patrol checkpoint located in our county,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview.
The county saw an increase in migrant deaths of 30 percent in January alone, the sheriff said.
“Despite our best efforts to try and prevent the loss of lives, we ended up finding the bodies of nine people,” Martinez said. “Last year — we lost seven during the same period.”
During the first two months of this year, the county has already matched 27 percent of last year’s total.
Martinez explained the deaths are caused by cartel-connected human smugglers that force the illegal immigrants to march through the ranches to avoid detection at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint that is located in the middle of the county.
“These smugglers could care less about the people they are taking through these treacherous conditions,” the sheriff said. “All it takes is a twisted ankle, exposure to the elements, fatigue, or anything else that would cause you to fall behind and the coyotes leave you behind to die.”
“People say that not securing our border is compassionate — it is anything but compassionate,” Martinez stated. “If you think the abuses these immigrants suffer at the hands of these smugglers is compassionate, you need to come spend some time seeing what we see.”
Brooks County is located about 80 miles from the Mexican border with Texas. But, it is not alone in reporting the deaths of migrants who have decided to risk their lives by illegally entering the U.S.
The remains of 12 more migrants were found in the southern Arizona desert during January and February, Breitbart Texas reported.
“Open borders policies are not compassionate public policy,” Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier told Breitbart Texas. “When we passively encourage illegal border crossing we are creating a human rights tragedy. These migrants are victimized repeatedly by bandits, human smuggling coyotes, and the harsh elements of this region.”
“Securing the border will prevent deaths and criminal victimization of border crossers,” Napier explained. “Securing the border is, in fact, compassionate public policy.”
“We need to talk about border security in terms of not only national security but compassionate public policy,” Napier concluded. “We should discuss ‘the wall’ as an analogous term referring to various aspects of border security that include manpower, physical barriers, technology, other resources.”