A Texas sheriff tasked with recovering the bodies of illegal immigrants who die while being smuggled around a checkpoint 80 miles from the Mexican border says the “false compassion” of open borders is to blame. This year, his deputies recovered the decomposing bodies or skeletal remains of more than 30 who were left to die by their smugglers.
“It is the false compassion of open borders that lead to the deaths of these illegal immigrants and other abuses we find out about,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. “These people are abused all along the smuggling pipeline and it comes to a head here in my county where they are often left to die while being smuggled around the Border Patrol’s checkpoint.”
The U.S. Border Patrol operates an immigration checkpoint on U.S. Highway 77 near Falfurrias, Texas. The stop is about 80 miles from the Texas-Mexico border. The sheriff says smugglers will, on a daily basis, drop off groups of migrants south and west of the checkpoint and march them through the ranches to other roads located north of the point.
“These people are ill-prepared for this kind of forced march,” Martinez said. “The soil here is very soft sand. It makes a mile feel like three or four. And, if you twist your ankle, get dehydrated or weak from the heat, or cannot keep up for any other reason, these callous human smugglers will simply leave you behind to die.”
Just last Friday, Martinez’s deputies were called to a ranch by Border Patrol agents who had discovered the skeletal remains of a migrant who was abandoned by the smugglers. The deputies and a justice of the peace from Brooks County went to the scene to make the death declaration and recover the remains.
“It doesn’t take long for a deceased migrant to decay to just remains in this heat and with the animals in the area,” the Texas sheriff said. “Finding the remains in this condition makes identification much more difficult.”
“It has been a long time since we have seen any deaths we can confirm as minors,” the sheriff said. “But we have had numerous rescues of minors who were abandoned in the fields by smugglers over the past few years.”
Martinez said body decomposition makes determining an accurate age of the deceased migrant difficult.
The sheriff said that being left to die is not the only abuse faced by these migrants along their journey.
“They are abused by human smugglers throughout the process,” Martinez explained. “Frequently the illegal immigrants are beaten and robbed by their smugglers. Often times they are held for ransom in stash houses in Mexico, at the Texas border, and all along the smuggling route.”
So far this year, the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office has processed the remains of at least 32 illegal immigrants who died in this one jurisdiction located 80 miles from the border. This is up from 28 during the same period in 2017. With the summer heat approaching, Martinez expects the numbers to continue to rise.
“They just keep coming,” the frustrated sheriff said. “As long as the federal government fails to secure the border, they will keep coming — and they will keep dying.”
Sheriff Martinez, a Democrat, says it is a “false compassion” to fight against securing the border. “The compassionate thing to do would be to secure the border and prevent these abuses. And then, find a way for people to immigrate legally.”
This year, 124 illegal immigrants have lost their lives in an effort to illegally enter the U.S. along our southwest border with Mexico, according to the Missing Migrant Project. Brooks County represents more than 25 percent of that U.S. total. Nationally, the number of migrant deaths is down, but only slightly, when compared to 2016 and 2017. However, the number of deaths is significantly higher than 2014 and 2015, the Missing Migrant Project reported.