Texas authorities have discovered the bodies of two migrants in the Rio Grande, including that of a three-year-old boy, this week amid a surge of illegal crossings at the southern border.
Officials recovered from the river the body of a three-year-old boy on Wednesday and that of a middle-aged man on Thursday, both of whom appear to have drowned attempting to cross the border, Fox News's Bill Melugin reported. The two drowned near Eagle Pass, Texas, which has long been a hotbed for border crossings.
The discoveries come as a surge in migrant crossings is overwhelming Border Patrol facilities, leading them to release migrants into the country. Agents have encountered an average of about 6,900 migrants per day in September, which is close to the record-setting level of 7,000 encounters per day authorities saw in May 2022.
Both bodies were found north of Texas's floating buoy barrier, which has been the subject of controversy since Governor Greg Abbott (R.) first erected it in early July.
Officers from Texas's Department of Public Safety in August found the body of a man stuck in the buoys, though it was unclear whether the buoys had caused the man's death or if he had drowned upstream and later floated down to them. Days later, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D., Texas) took a trip to Eagle Pass to highlight "chainsaw-type devices" on the buoys, calling Abbott's efforts "inhumane" and "barbaric."
Migrants regularly die while attempting to cross the river and the border in general. Four migrants drowned in the Rio Grande over the July 4 weekend, days before Abbott began placing the buoys. A record 853 migrants died crossing the border between October 2021 and October 2022, making it the deadliest year for migrant deaths on record as illegal crossings surged.