Texas migrant deaths: 8 migrants found dead, 37 rescued in Rio Grande near Eagle Pass

EAGLE PASS, Texas — At least eight migrants were found dead in the Rio Grande after dozens tried to cross a dangerous crossing near Eagle Pass, Texas, officials said Friday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexico officials made the discovery Thursday while responding to a large group of people crossing the river after days of heavy rains that had caused particularly fast currents. U.S. officials recovered six bodies, while Mexican teams recovered two others, according to a CBP statement.

The agency said US crews rescued 37 others from the river and arrested 16 others, while Mexican officials took 39 migrants into custody. Officials on both sides of the border continue to search for possible victims, the CBP said.

CBP did not say which country or countries the migrants were from and provided no additional information about the rescue or search. Involved local authorities in Texas did not immediately respond to requests for additional information.

The Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector, which includes Eagle Pass, is fast becoming the busiest corridor for illegal border crossings. In July, agents stopped migrants in this sector nearly 50,000 times, with Rio Grande Valley coming in second with about 35,000.

The area attracts migrants from dozens of countries, many of them in families with young children. About 6 out of 10 stops in the Del Rio sector in July were migrants from Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua.

The sector, which stretches 395 kilometers along the Río Grande, was particularly dangerous because river currents can be deceptively fast and change quickly. Crossing the river can be challenging even for strong swimmers.

In a press release last month, CBP said it discovered the bodies of more than 200 dead migrants in the sector from October to July.

Surveys by the United Nations International Organization for Migration and others point to rising deaths as the number of border crossing attempts has skyrocketed. Over the past three decades, thousands have died trying to enter the United States from Mexico, often from dehydration or drowning.

In June, 53 migrants were found dead or dying in a semi-truck on a back road in San Antonio, in the deadliest tragedy that claimed the lives of migrants smuggled across the border from Mexico.

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Associated Press writer Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://6abc.com/migrants-found-dead-border-patrol-rio-grande-deadly-crossing/12193461/ Texas migrant deaths: 8 migrants found dead, 37 rescued in Rio Grande near Eagle Pass

Alley Einstein

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