Human TraffickingNews

Migrants Exposed to Smuggling Dangers to Reach the US

US Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol (RGV) agents and partners rescue migrants on the Rio Grande, in ranches, and at the Border Patrol checkpoint.

On Friday, the Kingsville Border Patrol Station agents orchestrated a successful rescue mission directly contributed to a recently deployed RGV Missing Migrant Program (MMP) mobile rescue beacon. The beacon was activated by two subjects that were lost and in distress in a ranch. Agents were able to quickly locate the two migrants and transport them to the Kingsville Border Patrol Station where they were medically assessed.

On Saturday afternoon near Penitas, Texas, United States Coast Guard crewmen encountered a raft carrying more than 20 people attempting to cross the Rio Grande. The raft began to take on water prompting the Coast Guard to quickly position their vessel next to the raft in order to rescue the migrants. Two suspected smugglers jumped in the water and swam back to Mexico. The crewmen safely unloaded all subjects, including two infants, on the U.S. riverbank and turned them over to McAllen Border Patrol Station agents.

Sunday afternoon, Coast Guard riverine units patrolling near Mission, Texas, encountered a raft with nine subjects, including a 9-month-old infant and two unaccompanied children, being pushed off the Mexican riverbank by smugglers. The raft was partially deflated and immediately began to submerge under water. Having no life jackets or oars, the migrants began yelling for help. The Coast Guard crewmen were able to safely pull them onto their vessel. The migrants were turned over to the McAllen Border Patrol Station agents. The migrants were assessed and did not require any medical treatment. 

Yesterday evening, a female migrant ran towards McAllen Border Patrol Station agents and claimed she just escaped from her attacker. The female Honduran national entered the country illegally with her husband and young child. The brush guide separated the woman from her family and told them to hide in a different area. When alone with the female, the brush guide forced her to the ground and tore her pants and shirt. The woman began yelling and fighting back and was able to escape and find her husband. The female was medically assessed and taken into Border Patrol custody. An investigation with local law enforcement officials was initiated. The suspect was not located.

Additionally, 70 subjects were discovered inside a commercial tractor trailer at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint.