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Migrants' Attempt to Illegally Cross Border on Inflatable Raft Turns Into River Rescue

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Border Patrol agents rescued 13 illegal immigrants, including six children, from a sinking raft on the Rio Grande on Thursday morning, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The illegal immigrants were stranded on an inflatable raft that had begun deflating near Penitas, Texas, according to a statement from CBP.

The six children on board the raft ranged in age from 1 to 9.

“Just after midnight, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Riverine Unit were patrolling the Rio Grande when they witnessed a raft deflating with numerous people aboard,” CBP said.

“The inflatable raft was in the middle of the river as it began taking on water. The [Riverine] agents acted swiftly and were able to get the group safely aboard their vessel.”

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The illegal immigrants from Central America received medical screenings and were found to be uninjured.

“Human smugglers continue placing lives in grave danger by sending groups adrift on rafts with no oars, life preservers, or any means to maneuver,” CBP said.

“Additionally, rafts are over capacity as smugglers attempt to maximize their profits on each trip across the Rio Grande.

“Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor to the health of the citizens of our great nation,” CBP added.

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