9 Migrants Drown In Rio Grande Seeking To Enter U.S.
US Border Patrol agents perform a rescue along the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas, US, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nine migrants died while attempting to cross the Rio Grande River and enter the United States near Eagle Pass Friday, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.

CBP agents rescued 37 migrants from the increasingly strong currents of the river and detained 16 more while Mexican authorities detained another 39 migrants. Heavy rain has resulted in the river’s water level rising two feet in one day in the area, from three feet to five feet, according to the Associated Press.

“There are places when the water levels are down where you could wade across, but when the river is up it’s extremely dangerous, especially if you’re carrying kids or trying to help someone who is not a strong swimmer,” said Stephanie Leutert, who heads the Central America and Mexico Policy Initiative at the University of Texas’ Center for International Security and Law.

In May, a 38-year-old Nicaraguan migrant drowned attempting to illegally cross into the U.S. “This was horrific to see,” Fox News reporter Bryan Llenas said at the time. “There are the migrants who are suffering the most, who are risking their lives leaving horrific conditions and coming here under false pretenses about this nation’s immigration policy.”

The latest migrant drownings come as the Biden administration faces continued criticism for its border policies. Earlier this week, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy about Biden’s border policy allowing unvaccinated illegal immigrants to enter the United States. Jean-Pierre responded by claiming migrants don’t simply walk across the border.

“But that’s not how it works,” Jean-Pierre replied to Doocy, Fox News reported.

“That’s what’s happening,” Doocy shot back. “I know that’s not what you guys want to happen. But that is what is happening.”

“But that’s not — it’s not like somebody walks over,” Jean-Pierre said.

The press secretary’s claim flew in the face of some border patrol agents as they address record-numbers of border encounters. “How out of touch can this administration possibly be?” one agent told Fox News. “Well, I guess this is a new level.”

Along with detaining illegal immigrants, CBP agents have also confiscated a staggering amount of fentanyl that is streaming across the southern border.

Last month, Nogales Port Director Michael W. Humphries said in a tweet that a “massive amount of fentanyl pills” and other narcotics like cocaine and heroin were found and confiscated before crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. That seizure came only days after Nogales agents blocked about 265,000 rainbow-colored fentanyl pills resembling candy and sidewalk chalk, The Daily Wire reported.

Brandon Drey contributed to this report.

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