There is little doubt that President Joe Biden’s welcoming rhetoric and lax border enforcement policies have encouraged tens, if not hundreds of thousands of migrants to make the exceptionally dangerous journey across the southern U.S. border.
That has had fatal consequences for some, though, as it was recently revealed that the remains of more than 100 dead migrants have been found by Border Patrol agents in just one sector of the border so far, this fiscal year, Breitbart reported.
The border sector in question is the heavily trafficked and particularly rugged Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector in Texas, where border officials have reportedly found the dead bodies or skeletal remains of at least 100 individuals since October of 2020.
The revelation came via a media release from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) this past week which made note of the 100-plus migrant deaths that were known to have occurred in relation to the estimated 412,000 encounters with migrants in the RGV sector alone.
Of those bodies and remains found in the RGV sector, the overwhelming majority were reportedly located inland from the border amid inhospitable ranchlands that dominate the region and are utilized by smugglers leading migrants on foot to avoid Border Patrol checkpoints.
Sadly, those migrants were most likely left behind to die alone in the scrubland after failing to keep up with the pace set by the smugglers leading the migrant groups.
Causes of death
The release also noted that some of the deaths, though, occurred in the actual Rio Grande River itself, likely due to drowning after an overloaded raft capsized, or in the cramped and swelteringly hot interior of a truck trailer that some smugglers use to move large groups of migrants into the U.S.
All of that said, however, the CBP release stated that “Agents are working diligently to mitigate migrant deaths,” and noted that roughly 1,000 rescues of abandoned or at-risk migrants had been made this fiscal year, rescues that were spurred by near-daily 911 calls from distressed migrants seeking help for a companion or loved one.
In addition, CBP agents have already installed at least 24 special emergency beacons in the sector and plan to install 24 more before the fiscal year concludes. Those beacons are specifically designed to be easily spotted and recognizable to migrants and are strategically deployed in areas that have the greatest potential of saving migrants at risk of dying.
Unfortunately, the CBP release, when viewed in conjunction with an NBC News report that, in part, discussed the dangers migrants faced traveling through the RGV sector, suggests that while some improvements have been made, the problem is far from solved.
The report from early June, just prior to the hottest and most dangerous months for migrants passing through the sector, shared the concerns of a Border Patrol agent who was already responding to one or two migrant deaths per week and expected that number to rise substantially. In fact, at that point in time, the agent said migrant rescues were already up 150% over previous years and migrant deaths had increased by 58%.
This is nothing short of an abject tragedy that, while not completely avoidable, could be significantly mitigated and reduced with effective border security policies that discouraged and prevented migrants from making the potentially deadly journey across the border in the RGV sector in the first place.