The U.S. Border Patrol is leading a search for a missing 2-year-old girl, who was swept away in the Rio Grande river while reportedly being taken across with her mother.
What are the details?
According to a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agents from the Del Rio Station detained a Haitian woman on Monday, after she crossed the river from Mexico. The woman told agents she had lost her daughter while crossing, prompting a search that involved Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue, law enforcement teams from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, and CBP Air and Marine Operations.
Border Patrol divers and boats from both CBP and Mexico continued the search for the toddler — who is a Brazilian national — throughout the day on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. “Any time a child is lost it is a tragic event,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz said in a statement. “I can not imagine the anguish the parents of this young girl must be feeling and I hope our search efforts pay off with a positive outcome.”
According to ABC News, border agents say they are rescuing immigrants from the Rio Grande nearly every day. The outlet noted that higher-than-average snowfall melting from the Rocky Mountains is flowing into the river, “creating deceptively swift waters.”
Last week, another little girl drowned in the Rio Grande along with her father during an attempt to cross into the U.S. from Mexico. Images of the Salvadoran father and child laying lifeless in shallow water garnered international attention.
The Guardian reported that dozens of migrants have died in the Rio Grande already this year while unlawfully attempting to enter the United States.
Migrant families from various countries having been illegally pouring into the U.S. at unprecedented numbers in recent months, overwhelming authorities and ratcheting up the political blame game over who may be at fault.
President Donald Trump has consistently pressed for building further physical barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, while Democrats have pushed back with some insisting more foreign aid to Central American countries would be a better allocation of resources.
On Monday, President Trump signed a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package to address the border crisis.