The U.S. Border Patrol issued a warning to illegal immigrants who are trying to enter into the United States owing to severe weather conditions.
Because of increasing rainfall, portions of the Rio Grande have become increasingly dangerous and resulted in several deaths in the past week, Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens said in a statement to news outlets Saturday.
“This is a warning of extreme importance; the currents of the Rio Grande have become more dangerous due to recent and continuing rainfall and more rain is forecasted for the coming week,” he said. “Despite these adverse conditions, U.S. Border Patrol, Del Rio Sector continues to encounter large groups of more than 100+, 200+ attempting to cross the Rio Grande daily.”
So far, at least nine people died over the past several days while trying to cross the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, he said.
“In an effort to prevent further loss of life, we are asking everyone to please avoid crossing illegally,” he said.
The National Weather Service’s hydrologic monitoring website shows that several gauges along the Rio Grande suggest the river is near flood stage or in minor flood stage as of Sunday morning.
Mexican officials and the Border Patrol told The Associated Press Saturday that nine illegal immigrants drowned in the Rio Grande after they were swept downstream as the river rose rapidly owing to elevated rainfall amounts.
“Border Patrol agents are coordinating with the Eagle Pass Fire Department and Maverick County Sheriff’s Office as the search continues for other possible victims,” said Cecilia Barreda, a Border Patrol spokesperson, in a statement.
The warning comes as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are on pace to apprehend more than 2 million illegal aliens during the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30. Border Patrol agents have arrested 66 illegal aliens along the southern border who are on the U.S. government’s terrorist watchlist and 9,381 convicted criminal aliens.
About 18 months after President Joe Biden took office, some 4.9 million illegal aliens have crossed the U.S.–Mexico border into the United States, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform in a statement last month.
And with the increase, the governor of Texas started busing illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities including Washington, New York, and Chicago, drawing the ire of local Democrat leaders in those municipalities.
The head of the Border Patrol has admitted that the surge of illegal immigration is because of the lack of consequences that most illegal aliens face. His comments are a departure from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has repeatedly said that the border is closed and that no crisis exists.
“In my experience, we have seen increases when there are no consequences,” Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said on July 28 during a deposition for a lawsuit against the federal government brought by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.
Those figures are set to worsen, Ortiz also said.
“There is an assumption if migrant populations are told that there’s a potential that they may be released, that yes, you can see increases,” he said.
Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times