Officials work to stop migrant border drownings

Border Report

(NewsNation) — Border report agents are seeing more immigrants drown as a surge of migrants at the border continues.

Border Patrol agents in El Paso worked swiftly to treat two migrants. Moments earlier, the migrants were swept away in a fast-moving canal while trying to cross into Texas. A border patrol agent had to cling to a ladder on the side of the canal to throw them a flotation device.

This is an issue seen all along the border in Texas. Over in Eagle Pass, migrants routinely cross the Rio Grande where the current is deceptively strong. Sources told NewsNation there have been four drownings in this sector alone this month — even one infant was swept away.

“Do not cross the rivers because it may endanger yourself or your loved ones,” Texas DPS Sgt. Juan Maldonado said.

Texas DPS has been working more closely with Mexican authorities to secure the border on both sides, in part to stop the increase in drownings.

The reality is the journey for migrants to the U.S. is dangerous. The International Organization for Migration, a part of the U.N., found at least 650 migrants died trying to cross into the U.S. last year.

A report from WOLA found that at least 10 migrants drowned in the El Paso Sector alone within a two-week period in June. Before those drownings were recorded, there had been 15 reported migrant drownings in that sector since October of 2021.

The economic situation in many Central and South American countries has been a point of emphasis for the U.S., which is why Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited Honduras this week,

The hope is if this situation can be improved, migrants will be less desperate to make the journey. Border experts also point to the fact there is a belief among many migrants that the U.S.-Mexico border is open. Those same experts say that narrative has to be changed

“To diminish hope for crossing but providing hope in other places,” Victor Manjarez at the University of Texas in El Paso said.

Drownings are one aspect of the dangers here on the border. Another one is heat. Temperatures have been about 120 degrees Fahrenheit in some place, causing severe hydration. Authorities have seen 15 migrants die of thirst and heat exhaustion just in the last month.

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