Border Patrol agents and Coast Guard crews rescued migrants across the Rio Grande Valley Sector after human smugglers put them in jeopardy. In multiple incidents, smugglers moved women, children, and even infants into the river that separates Texas and Mexico. One woman was saved after an alleged sexual assault attempt.
McAllen Station Border Patrol agents encountered a female migrant on Monday evening who ran toward them. The woman told the agents she had just escaped from an attacker, according to information obtained from Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol officials.
The woman, a Honduran national, had just illegally crossed the border with her husband and a young child, she told the agents. She said the smuggler separated her from her family and told them to hide in a different area. After moving away with the woman, the smuggler forced her to the ground and tore her shirt and pants, officials reported. She began to fight back and eventually escaped and fled to the agents. The agents contacted local law enforcement officials to launch an investigation into the alleged attack. The agents did not find the perpetrator of the assault.
Agents respond to migrants in distress from the Rio Grande riverbanks to the ranch lands & a USBP checkpoint. #RGV takes advantage of our life-saving technology & fellow partners to be able to respond as quickly as possible.
— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) July 7, 2021
U.S. Coast Guard riverine units patrolling the Rio Grande near Mission, Texas, on Sunday afternoon encountered a raft loaded with nine people, officials stated. The people in the partially deflated raft included a nine-month-old child.
The Coast Guardsmen observed the overloaded raft taking on water and that the migrants had no flotation devices or oars. The migrants called for help and the Coast Guard unit responded by pulling alongside.
The crewmen pulled the nine migrants, including the infant, into their vessel and transported them to the riverbank where Border Patrol agents conducted medical screenings and transported them to the station for processing.
One day earlier, another Coast Guard river patrol working near Penitas, Texas, came upon a group of 20 people attempting to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico. Once again, the raft began to take on water. The two human smugglers abandoned the migrants and swam back to Mexico as the guardsmen approached.
The Coast Guard crew found two more infants among the 20 migrants rescued from the raft. The crew turned the migrants over to McAllen Station Border Patrol agents for processing.
As the Independence Day weekend kicked off on Friday, Kingsville Station Border Patrol agents received an alert from a newly placed rescue beacon located on a ranch near the Javier Vega, Jr. Border Patrol checkpoint. The agents went to the location and found two lost, distressed migrants. The agents transported the two to the Kingsville Border Patrol Station for a medical screening and processing.
In addition to these rescues, agents assigned to the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint in Brooks County, Texas, found 70 more migrants locked inside a tractor-trailer.