Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents rescued two groups of migrant families from the Rio Grande River as they attempted to illegally cross from Mexico. The groups included three young children who were at risk of drowning.
Agents assigned to the Del Rio Station Marine Unit came upon a group of two migrant families on March 19 who were attempting to illegally cross the border not far from a legal port of entry. The families included three children, ages three, four, and 10, according to information provided by Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials.
The agents heard the families crying out for help and observed they were struggling to stay afloat. Officials said it appeared the adults could not hold on to their children any longer as they struggled with the swiftly moving current.
The agents quickly moved their boat into a rescue position. Once in position, they utilized ropes to pull the distressed migrants to safety.
“The higher number of families attempting to illegally enter the United States exposes more vulnerable adults and children to the hazards and risks of crossing the Rio Grande River,” Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak said in a written statement. “If not for the quick response by our Border Patrol agents, this incident could have ended tragically with the loss of life of three small children and their parents.”
The agents transported the seven migrants to the Del Rio Station for processing according to CBP guidelines. They identified all seven migrants as Salvadoran nationals.
Del Rio Sector agents are frequently faced with rescuing migrants who choose to put their children’s lives in danger by attempting to illegally cross the Rio Grande River into Texas. In one near-fatal incident, agents patrolling the river near Eagle Pass pulled the lifeless body of a 12-year-old boy from the deadly river, Breitbart News reported in February. The agents managed to revive the boy and moved him and his brother to safety. The two boys, Honduran nationals, were traveling with an adult Nicaraguan male.
Just a few days earlier, agents rescued 17 migrants from the river near Eagle Pass, including a one-year-old infant. The week before that, agents rescued five Honduran migrants including two toddlers that officials said were put in “grave danger” by their parents.
All of these dangerous illegal border crossings took place a short distance from legal ports of entry.