Border patrol agents recovered two bodies last week, including one of a child who drowned after trying to cross the Rio Grande River with his family into the United States.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release, two Angolan brothers, 7 and 9 years old, are feared dead after they were swept away by the rushing Rio Grande while trying to illegally cross the southwest U.S. border with their parents. The tragedy occurred just one mile west of the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas.
The illegal immigrant parents notified U.S. officials of the incident when they were apprehended. Mexican authorities were able to recover what appeared to be one of the boys’ bodies “near the riverbank on the Mexico side of the Rio Grande” last week but are still searching for the other one. During the coordinated search, border officials also found the body of an adult man in the nearby area.
Tragedies in Del Rio are on the rise. In the first half of 2021, officials documented a record-breaking 66 deaths among illegal border-crossers. That’s nearly double the lives lost the entire year before, shortly after the president and his team welcomed illegal immigrants by signaling that they were safe to come to the U.S. once an Obama-era catch and release system was reinstated.
When Biden assumed office, he quickly eradicated the Trump administration’s border security policies such as the “Remain in Mexico” policy which required asylum seekers to await court decisions in Mexico, and immediately halted construction on the border wall.
The administration’s weak border rhetoric and policy changes opened the door for many previously hesitant foreigners to illegally cross the border without the same level of fear of retribution they felt under the previous administration. Multiple illegal immigrants have admitted as much.
In total, at least 650 people died during their attempts to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021. Many of them succumbed to heat exposure and drowning but others were killed by feuding Mexican cartels.
Illegal immigrants aren’t the ones losing their lives at the border. In April, a Texas National Guard soldier tragically drowned in the Rio Grande River while trying to rescue suspected drug traffickers from the water. As a result, the Texas National Guard has discouraged any of its soldiers from performing water rescues for any of the thousands of illegal immigrants crossing the border each and every day.
In April alone, border officials arrested more than 234,000 illegal border-crossers. Now that the Biden administration plans to dismantle Title 42, a policy designed to expedite the expulsion of illegal immigrants during the Covid-19 pandemic, apprehension numbers are expected to keep climbing.