The number of migrants who drowned during an illegal border crossing on Thursday rose to 13 by Sunday, according to CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus. The migrants were swept away from a large group of migrants by the swift currents of the Rio Grande which is swollen from heavy rains.
Magnus tweeted a card given to him by the Diocese of Laredo after Border Patrol agents and Mexican officials recovered the bodies of at least 13 migrants since Thursday’s crossing.
The tweet by Magnus reveals that four additional bodies have been recovered since CBP officials reported nine deaths on Saturday, as reported by Breitbart Texas. The deaths came as a large group of migrants attempted to cross the rain-swollen Rio Grande Thursday. As some of the group made it to the Texas side of the river, they reported that many from their group were swept away by the swiftly moving currents. Eagle Pass agents found four bodies later in the day.
By Friday, officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 53 migrants were apprehended including 37 who Border Patrol agents rescued from the river. Officials on the Mexican side of the river reported the apprehension of 39 others.
Border Patrol agents recovered a total of six migrants on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. Mexican officials recovered two more, Breitbart reported.
By Saturday morning, U.S. officials reported that one more migrant body was recovered on the Mexican side of the river. This brings the total known dead to nine migrants.
The group of migrants crossed the border approximately three miles south of the Camino Real International Bridge, an official operating under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Breitbart Texas.
The migrants reportedly said they were chased into the dangerous waters as Mexican immigration officers attempted to stop them from crossing.
CBP officials have not responded with any information as to the ages, sex, or nationalities of the dead migrants. The migrants report those swept away were mostly women and children.
Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens warned Saturday night that continuing rains in the area are increasing the already strong currents of the Rio Grande in the Eagle Pass area.
“This is a warning of extreme importance; the currents of the Rio Grande have become more dangerous due to recent and continuing rainfall and more rain is forecasted for the coming week.” Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens said in a statement provided to Breitbart Texas. “Despite these adverse conditions, U.S. Border Patrol, Del Rio Sector continues to encounter large groups of more than 100+, 200+ attempting to cross the Rio Grande daily.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials also published Chief Owens’ statement in Spanish:
Esta es una advertencia de extrema importancia; las corrientes del Río Bravo se han vuelto más peligrosas debido a las lluvias recientes y continuas y se pronostica más lluvia para la próxima semana. A pesar de estas condiciones adversas, la Patrulla Fronteriza de los EE. UU., Sector Del Río, continúa encontrando grupos grandes de más de 100 o más de 200 que intentan cruzar el Río Grande diariamente.
Hasta la fecha, al menos nueve personas han muerto en los últimos días al intentar cruzar esta zona. En un esfuerzo por evitar más pérdidas de vidas, les pedimos a todos que eviten cruzar ilegalmente.
Esta es una situación en evolución y se proporcionarán actualizaciones según sea necesario.
Despite the increasing dangers of the swiftly moving currents of the Rio Grande, a group of 362 migrants crossed the river in a single group on Saturday morning, Breitbart Texas reported.
The nearly 400 migrants crossed in nearly the same area where this week’s drownings occurred.
More than 52,000 migrants crossed the Rio Grande into the Del Rio Sector in August — making it the busiest sector in the nation for the second month in a row, Breitbart reported.