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  • Writer's pictureLauren Jessop

Citizen Stringer visits the border Part Three: Eagle Pass after dark;

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

Female carried from Rio Grande River unconscious, status unknown

Illegal border crossers at Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass
Rio Grande River, Eagle Pass, Tx - Photo by Lauren Jessop

EAGLE PASS, Texas – Last month, the Citizen Stringer team traveled to Eagle Pass, Texas. Part One of our report discussed what we found during the day, and Part Two showed what happened as the sun was setting. In this installment, we share our experiences at the Rio Grande River after dark.

As the sun dropped, so did the temperature. Earlier in the day, it had been 80 degrees, but in the evening, it went down to about 50.

When Border Patrol and/or Eagle Pass police were around, their vehicles’ lights illuminated the area, but those officials would leave to escort groups of illegals to the station for processing and we would, for brief periods, be surrounded by darkness.

We felt fairly safe, but there is something about being in an unfamiliar place, in the dark, that puts you on edge at least slightly. We did end up turning on our vehicle’s lights at some point, which not only helped our vision, but also made taking photos and videos easier.

As mentioned in Part Two, when we heard dogs barking from across the river, we knew within minutes we would be seeing people emerging from the bushes. At approximately 7:45 p.m., a small group who said they were from Venezuela showed up. You can hear the dogs barking at the beginning of the video.

Border Patrol was not in the area at the time this group came through, but we were able to inform them about it when they arrived a few minutes later, and they headed off to catch up to them.

The arrivals continued, and we noticed some striking differences between the groups that arrived under the cover of darkness from those that arrived during daylight hours.

As people from the earlier groups stepped out of the bushes, barring their wet clothing, it almost looked as if they were stepping off of a plane, ready to go home after a vacation. Many had backpacks that contained dry clothing and belongings, and some carried those “U” shaped travel pillows with them. They were calm and relaxed, and did not look fatigued or ragged.

In comparison, those that arrived later at night looked tired and worn out. Since the temperature had dropped, it would be safe to assume that crossing the river was much more uncomfortable, not to mention treacherous, in the evening than it was during the day. But those conditions do not deter the smugglers or migrants, and they just continue to come across in groups large and small.

Just as we were about to go live on Wake Up America, at approximately 8:10 p.m., a fairly large group showed up.

This particular group had some serious issues besides the darkness and the temperature, although those factors may have contributed to them. As they came out of the bushes, they looked fatigued, and you could see steam coming off of their wet clothes.

Then we heard shouting off in the distance, and several men ran back toward the river.

Minutes later we watched as two men carried a female out of the bushes. It was difficult to tell her age; she did not appear to be a child, but she was small enough for the men to carry her without any trouble. As they carried her across the road though, we noticed that she was unconscious. A third man who followed them out appears to shake his head “no.”

We reached out to Border Patrol to inquire about the status of the female and were told there was no report logged of the incident, so we will never know if she made it or not.

The Border Patrol does not shy away from posting incidents of illegal aliens being injured or even killed. They frequently post the details of such incidents to demonstrate the dangers that migrants face when they attempt to enter the U.S. illegally, so we are assuming that they are simply so overwhelmed, not every event gets recorded.

Female being carried from the river and detail - Photos by Lauren Jessop

Shortly after that incident, we witnessed another unique situation – two people were brought up from the river and out of the bushes, one at a time, in a wheelchair. They were taken and put into a Border Patrol van, and the empty wheelchair was wheeled away with the group as they walked, escorted by Border Patrol agents, toward a waiting bus closer to the main road. We did not witness any wheelchair previous to seeing people exiting the bushes, so we are assuming it had been floated across the river somehow.

The vans brought in by Border Patrol do not have the capacity to hold the larger groups, and a bus cannot navigate the narrow dirt back roads by the river, so the groups are walked to a location where the larger vehicle picks them up and transports them for processing at the Border Patrol Station.

We cannot accurately say exactly how many groups we saw that day because they just kept coming.

In the short amount of time we were able to spend in the area, it was obvious that the arrivals were constant, and that someone on the other side was directing the groups to this one particular spot. It was also easy to see that Border Patrol and law enforcement were doing their best in a bad situation and trying to keep up with it all.

Unfortunately, the events we saw in Eagle Pass that day happen 24/7, and not only in Eagle Pass, but all along our southern border.

In FY 21 (October 2020 – September 2021), the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported a total of 1,734,686 encounters with illegal aliens. There were 164,303 encounters recorded for October 2021. Although that number was lower than the month before, in September, which was 192,001, it was still higher for the same time period the year prior, which was 71,929 in October 2020.

The Biden administration can say that our borders are not open, but that is not accurate. We saw it for ourselves, and we spoke to people who are directly affected by the crisis happening in their communities.

When a Texas state trooper thanks you for reporting on the situation because “the people up north have no idea what’s going on,” things are bad.

If you don’t think it will affect you, think again. After illegal aliens are processed, many – usually families – are released into the U.S. and allowed to travel to their choice of location to wait for their immigration hearing. To quote Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe, “What I see today, y’all will see tomorrow.”

You can watch the recording of the Wake Up America live stream here – the border segment begins at approximately 10 minutes.

Originally published on Citizen Stringer, December 13, 2021

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