(CTN News) – This week, the bodies of two migrants were tragically discovered in the Rio Grande, which serves as the border between the United States and Mexico. Among the deceased was a three-year-old child.
The month of September has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of migrants arriving at the southern border of the United States, nearing record levels. This surge has placed considerable strain on local resources.
It is believed that the three-year-old child lost their life by drowning, likely swept away while attempting to cross the river. Tragically, hundreds of migrants meet a similar fate each year while embarking on this perilous journey.
According to a spokesperson from the Texas Department of Public Safety, as reported by CBS, which is the BBC’s partner in the United States, the body of the three-year-old was recovered near the town of Eagle Pass on Wednesday.
The child had been traveling with their family and was declared deceased upon arrival at a local hospital.
The following morning, Texas state troopers located another body submerged in the river within the same vicinity.
Both bodies were discovered north of a contentious line of border buoys, erected to discourage migrant crossings near Eagle Pass. Legal disputes have swirled around this barrier, culminating in a federal judge’s recent ruling that mandated their relocation by September 15.
Texas promptly filed a legal challenge, which was upheld, allowing the buoys to remain in their current positions.
Challenges Mount as Migrant Apprehensions Surge on the US-Mexico Border
Across the nearly 2,000-mile (3,218km) expanse of the US-Mexico border, migrant apprehensions have surged to almost record levels this month, presenting a significant challenge to President Joe Biden’s immigration strategy.
Internal Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data, obtained by CBS, reveals that during the first 20 days of September, 140,000 migrants were detained at the border, averaging around 6,900 per day. For comparison, in July, the daily average was 4,300.
On a single Wednesday, approximately 9,000 migrants were processed, marking the highest daily count since May, just before the US terminated Title 42, a policy from the Trump era that facilitated the swift expulsion of many migrants.
These numbers suggest that CBP is on track to record 210,000 migrant apprehensions by the end of the month, the highest figure since December 2022’s 222,000.
In Eagle Pass, a small town with around 30,000 residents, officials declared a one-week state of emergency this week to request additional resources to address the influx of migrants.
In both Eagle Pass and El Paso, authorities were compelled to temporarily halt commercial vehicle traffic at international bridges to redirect personnel toward migrant processing.
The issue has grown increasingly contentious in the political arena, with the Biden administration facing sharp criticism from both Republicans and some Democrats over its management of the southern border.
Earlier this week, the administration announced the deployment of an additional 800 active-duty military personnel to augment the 2,500 troops already stationed there, tasked with performing operational duties.