Laredo Sector Marine Unit Border Patrol agents saved a migrant from drowning during an attempt to illegally cross the Rio Grande River border between Texas and Mexico.
Marine Unit agents from the Laredo Sector observed a group attempting to illegally cross the river separating the U.S. and Mexico during a patrol on August 12. As the agents approached the area, they observed several people on the U.S. side of the river jumping back in the water to travel back to Mexico and avoid being arrested for immigration violations, according to Laredo Sector Border Patrol officials.
The agents remained in the area to monitor the situation and observed one of the migrants having a difficult time swimming across the swift river. Eventually, the migrant became fatigued and displayed difficulty remaining afloat, officials stated. The riverine agents moved into position to assist the distressed swimmer and provided a flotation device. Once the migrant put on the flotation device, the agents moved him to a position where they could load the subject on the boat and place the person under arrest.
The migrant declined medical attention and was taken to the Laredo Station for processing on immigration violation charges. During a biometric background investigation, the agents learned the man came to the U.S. from Mexico.
“These events illustrate how the men and women of the United States Border Patrol not only serve to protect our borders, but are also committed to the preservation of life and assist anyone in need,” Acting Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens said in a written statement.
Agents are frequently called upon to rescue migrants who are placed in life-threatening situations along the Rio Grande River by their cartel-connected human smugglers.
In June, Del Rio Sector agents rescued a group of seven illegal immigrants who were abandoned in the middle of the river during a time of swift currents, Breitbart Texas reported. Five of those seven migrants were minors — three of the minors were classified as Unaccompanied Alien Children as they were not traveling with a parent or guardian, officials stated.
In July, Laredo Sector agents had to intervene in an attempted homicide by drowning as a person was being held under the water by two other men as a third, armed man watched from the Mexican side of the river. The agents intervened and pulled the near-lifeless body from the river. After reviving the man, agents transported him to the station for processing where they learned he had been previously deported at least two times — most recently, on the same day as the attempted drowning.
Not all of the migrants are fortunate enough to be rescued by the river-based Border Patrol agents. In May, riverine agents discovered the body of a deceased man in the Rio Grande River near Laredo. Agents learned the man was a Bangladeshi national who was apparently attempting to cross the border. His body was transported to the Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office for determination of a cause and manner of death.