The dangers of illegally crossing into the United States through the Southwest Border are very much real.
Locally, since April of this year numerous (13) people including children have lost their lives in their attempt to reach the American Dream.
On Sunday, May 19, numerous individuals from both sides of the river witnessed the drowning of an individual who attempted to swim across the Rio Grande River in search of that dream.
The tragic incident occurred in an area in proximity of International Bridge No. 1.
Shortly after U.S. Border Patrol Agents were spotted searching the river in search of the man.
The drowning witnessed by so many on that day is a harsh reality of the dangers immigrants trying to ingress into the country through the Rio Grande River and Southwest Border face.
Up to now, his body has not been found.
Late last week another undocumented immigrant was pulled from the Rio Grande river where he lost his life attempting to cross into the U.S. This was upriver from where the other individual drowned.
Since 1998- 2018 United States Customs and Border Protection report that approximately 7,505 people have died trying to cross into the United States through the Southwest Border. This nearly averages to one death per day in the 20-year span (1998-2018).
Officials feel that 2019 could be just as deadly as the year 2005 when 492 people were reported to have lost their lives crossing into the U.S. through the Southwest Border.
“It’s a dangerous situation we are seeing. And we feel it will not stop. Day in and day out agents are rescuing people from the river,” says a Border Patrol Agent.
In the past 20 years (1998-2018) the Del Rio Sector Border Patrol which includes Maverick County has reported 526 illegal immigrant deaths.
In 2018 there were 24 undocumented immigrant deaths reported in the Del Rio Sector. The fiscal year 2019 could be even deadlier than the previous year.