EAGLE PASS, Texas — A 3-year-old boy is dead after his family attempted to cross the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass on Wednesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed to Spectrum News 1 in an email.
According to the department, just after 3:30 p.m. the Tactical Marine Unit was informed that a child had been swept away by the strong current north of the marine barrier in Eagle Pass.
Troopers located the child and took him to shore. He was then taken to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The death comes amid a sharp influx of migrants into Eagle Pass. On Tuesday, Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas declared a state of emergency. In two days, more than 4,000 asylum seekers, many of them from Venezuela, crossed into the West Texas border town.
The following day, Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott declared an “invasion” at the state’s border with Mexico.
Many migrants have drowned while attempting to cross the border into Texas. In August of this year, Mexican authorities recovered the bodies of two people from the river, also near Eagle Pass.
In April 2022, a Texas National Guard member drowned when he jumped into the Rio Grande to help a migrant who was struggling to swim across it. The drowning also occurred near Eagle Pass.
As part of his multibillion-dollar Operation Lone Star border enforcement program, Abbott had razor wire and floating buoy barriers installed in the river near Eagle Pass. Those deterrents are embroiled in a federal lawsuit.
Abbott and other Texas leaders say the barriers were installed in order to dissuade crossings and potentially save lives. Critics say they are endangering lives by making crossings more dangerous.