Laredo Border Patrol Agents explain the dangers of crossing border illegally
LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - From the skies the land and even the water, U.S. Border Patrol agents always go that extra mile to make sure the border is secure.
Border Patrol Agents in the Laredo Sector cover 136 miles of the Rio Grande River, 52 of those miles are the Falcon Dam in Zapata County.
Border patrol officials say there are four common ways in which agents encounter people crossing into the country illegally.
People sneak into the country through cars, walking, tractor-trailers, and trains; however, these trips aren’t easy, leaving people in life-or-death situations.
KGNS News was able to get an airboat tour on the Rio Grande to see firsthand what migrants see once they reach the river.
S.O.S of the Laredo Sector Marine Unit Narciso Ramos says some of the rescues they see have a big impact on border patrol agents.
Ramos says, “We had a 72-year-old lady who just gave up she could not swim anymore, fortunately, we were here, and we were able to rescue her.”
Agent Ramos says it was hard to see the elder woman give up on the river and begin to float.
The agents use different equipment to rescue those who are taken by the river’s current.
Border Patrol agents also use small kayaks and inflatable life raft boats for rescues.
Ramos says so far, this fiscal year they have had 11 river rescues.
As an agency, Ramos says over 5,000 rescues have been reports so far, which includes migrants found in the brush dehydrated or even injured.
In order, to find these people they use different technology like drones and even horses are used to get into ranches to spot migrants.
However, the dangers of crossing the Rio Grande have yet to prevent undocumented people from attempting to come into the United States.
Last Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urged U.S. Customs and Border Protection to move forward with building a wall in Webb and Zapata County.
Landrum says, “For the federal government here in Laredo Sector, we have 139 miles of international boundaries and I have no zero border barriers of any kind, no wall, no fence, nothing.”
Chief Landrum says it would be the state’s call if a barrier were to be put between Texas and Tamaulipas.
Chief Landrum says they are preparing for an influx of migrants by having more boots on the ground whether that is on air water or horses.
Chief Landrum says he knows there could be migrant caravans headed to the Mexico/Texas border so they will prepare accordingly.
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