Border Patrol Dealing With Huge Groups, Heat-Related Deaths, Drownings in Del Rio Sector

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EAGLE PASS, Texas—Homeland Security officials saying “the border is closed” seems to be having little impact.

Thousands of illegal immigrants are pouring across the southern border every day and the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector in south Texas is a magnet for large groups, which Customs and Border Protection defines as more than 100 individuals.

During a recent weekend in mid-May, agents encountered five large groups totaling 630 illegal immigrants from Cuba, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. One was a Mexican national.

More than half (363) of the illegal immigrants were single adult males, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

An additional 135 were single adult females, two were unaccompanied children, and the rest were individuals within a family unit.

“At the same time, over the weekend we had over a thousand reported gotaways,” said Del Rio Border Patrol Sector Chief Jason Owens in a May 17 Twitter video. Gotaways are illegal aliens that Border Patrol detects, but doesn’t catch. The Del Rio area had more than 16,000 gotaways during April, second behind Tucson, Arizona.

During the current fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, 2021, Del Rio Sector has encountered 112 large groups, which accounts for about half the large groups encountered by Border Patrol nationwide, according to a May 18 statement from CBP.

Summer Heat

The mercury is already reaching beyond 100 degrees in the Del Rio and Eagle Pass areas and border agents are busy providing medical assistance to illegal immigrants with heat-related issues as well as drownings.

“Already this morning, we’ve encountered two deceased individuals that were apparently left behind by the smuggler in the desert,” Owens said on May 17. He said a third body was found in the river. Drownings have become common, particularly near Eagle Pass where the Rio Grande is deceptively deep and swift.

By Charlotte Cuthbertson

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