EAGLE PASS, Texas — A migrant drowned in an abandoned industrial waste pit after attempting to flee Texas Army National Guardsmen. The pit is located near the Rio Grande just south of the city. According to a source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the migrant submerged and did not resurface on Friday night.
Soldiers initially spotted the migrant near a border fence construction project. A source notes the migrant refused orders to stop and ran toward the pit. The soldiers notified authorities after witnessing the migrant struggling in the water.
A Border Patrol Special Operations Unit dive team recovered the body early Saturday. The incident remains under investigation. The identity of the migrant was not released by the source.
Texas guardsmen are stationed in the area in support Operation Lone Star. The operation involves the deployment of Texas Highway Patrol and National Guard.
The Border Patrol has reported an increase of illegal crossings in the area and currently the Del Rio Sector leads the nation in apprehensions.
The troops in the area have prepared for migrant caravans traveling through Mexico which may choose Eagle Pass as a potential crossing point.
The death adds to the record-breaking number of those occurring during the current border surge. According to a report by the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrant Program, a total of 658 migrants are known to have died or gone missing in 2021. This is up 37 percent during the final year of the Trump administration.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.