EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered 40 unaccompanied migrants children who attempted to cross in the U.S. illegally when water levels in the Rio Grande had risen due to heavy rains Thursday morning in El Paso.
In an effort to prevent the children from entering the river, border agents requested the assistance of Mexican authorities, who were able to keep most of the children from crossing, according to a statement from Border Patrol officials to Border Report.
Agents said five children jumped into the river and had to be rescued shortly after midnight just east of the Ysleta Port of Entry. Another eight managed to wade across the river, and all were taken into Border Patrol custody.
Mexican authorities prevented the remainder of the children from crossing.
The 13 children in U.S. custody will be transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. Agents said the five children who were rescued are from Guatemala and range in ages from 14 to 17 years old.
The head of the U.S. Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector on Friday tweeted a video that showed agents using lifesavers to pull at least three boys to shore.
“MIGRANTS RESCUED!” Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez wrote. “#BP#Agents from #Ysleta station discovered over 40 noncitizen unaccompanied children along the river attempting to enter illegally. Despite warnings, 5 of them jumped in the rising waters & were pulled to safety by agents. Outstanding job Ysleta! @cbp#Heroes.”
This fiscal year alone, border officials have encountered about 80,000 unaccompanied migrants, more than twice as many as all of FY 2020.
This is a developing stories. Look for updates as more information becomes available.