Border Patrol Agent Saves Drowning Illegal Immigrant's Life When Her Companions Refuse To Act
A Customs and Border Patrol agent is being credited with saving an illegal immigrant’s life when she nearly drowned trying to cross the border in Texas and her compatriots declined to help save her.
According to a statement released by CBP on Thursday, the woman jumped into the Rio Grande as agents attempted to interdict them.
“On Tuesday, AMO Air Interdiction Agents assigned to the McAllen Air and Marine Branch conducted line operations when they spotted a group of illegal aliens on the U.S. riverbank near La Joya, Texas,” the statement read.
“As the agents alerted Border Patrol, the group ran back toward the Rio Grande and jumped off a 15 foot cliff into the river to swim back to Mexico.
“Agents observed as a single woman, who was hesitant to jump in, contemplate the decision,” it continued.
“Despite attempts to coax the woman off the cliff, the woman jumped into the river and immediately struggled to stay afloat. After noticing the woman could not swim and that the group of illegal aliens refused to offer her assistance, one of the Air Interdiction Agents jumped into the water and retrieved her.”
“The woman was not injured and did not require any medical attention,” they reported.
Drownings have long been an issue for Border Patrol along the Rio Grande. According to the Houston Chronicle, 91 drownings of illegal immigrants were recorded in 2017, up from 67 in 2016.
“I saw an increase of people coming around the time of (Hurricane) Harvey,” Eddy Canales, director of the South Texas Human Rights Center, told the Chronicle.
“They knew that Harvey would create more demand for work, and they were willing to take a higher risk for a higher payoff.”
A report from the International Organization for Migration noted that heavy rains — including those from Harvey — “made crossing the border… more difficult as the Rio Grande flowed faster and deeper.”
The problem is compounded by smugglers who often desert their charges when interdiction becomes a possibility.
“Smugglers are now quicker to abandon their groups in the river or scrubland, according to Felix Cantu, the Border Patrol agent in charge of McAllen station,” Voice of America reported in 2015 at the height of the border crisis.
Human traffickers, Cantu said, “usually would take the group all the way to where they are going.”
“Now they are trying to get more separation, remove themselves from the group, obviously not to get caught.”
Speaking to CNN back in 2017, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mike Friel said that “virtually all those crossing the border illegally are led by smugglers. That’s because cartels have a stranglehold on the Mexican side of the border and control much of the land.”
“There are very few people who attempt to cross on their own,” Friel said, adding that no one would likely “risk going against the cartel.”
While it’s unclear what happened earlier this week, the fact that the woman was abandoned by the traffickers who were trying to bring her over certainly reeks of smuggling. Meanwhile, the evil folks at Customs and Border Protection — so deeply lamented in the mainstream press — were the ones who saved her.
Funny how that works. And funny how it doesn’t get any media attention.
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