Mom Tries to Cross Rio Grande With Kids, 9-Year-Old Dies

BP agents were able to resuscitate migrant mother, 3-year-old, but girl didn't regain consciousness
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2021 6:30 AM CDT
Mom Tries to Cross Rio Grande With Kids, 9-Year-Old Dies
This Feb. 17, 2021, image shows the Rio Grande flowing through Rio Rancho, New Mexico.   (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

Tragedy has struck a mother from Guatemala trying to make her way into the US with her two children, both Mexican nationals. Newsweek reports that on March 20, US Border Patrol agents received a rescue call after bystanders saw three people stranded on an island on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, near Eagle Pass, Texas. There, authorities found the family members—the mother, her 9-year-old daughter, and her 3-year-old son—all unconscious. Agents started administering first aid and were able to resuscitate the mother and son, but the girl was transferred to emergency medics in Eagle Pass. She never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead, per a Customs and Border Protection statement.

CBP notes that since the fiscal year began on Oct. 1, agents along the Del Rio Sector in the southern part of Texas have rescued more than 500 migrants trying to enter the US illegally, with more than 80 deaths from October through February. Earlier this week, President Biden discouraged people from coming to the border right now as his administration tries to help those already there, noting, per the Guardian: "The only people we are not going to leave sitting there on the other side of the Rio Grande with no help are children." The New York Times notes the challenges in handling the soaring numbers at the border, which are overwhelming processing sites there and forcing the Border Patrol to release families faster than they usually would. Smugglers, meanwhile, are exploiting the situation, bringing people across the Rio Grande, often at night on inflatables. "The coyotes know and will say everyone gets in," a Texas immigration lawyer tells the paper. "So people come." (Read more migrants stories.)

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