The search continues for a 22-year-old Texas National Guardsman who is still missing after witnesses say he jumped into the Rio Grande on Friday morning in an attempt to save the lives of two individuals who were crossing the river into the United States.
On Sunday, Fox News’ Bill Melguin tweeted, “The TX National Guard soldier who is presumed to have drowned in the Rio Grande on Friday has been identified as 22-year-old Specialist Bishop E. Evans from Arlington, TX.”
Melugin reported that the migrants Evans attempted to save were allegedly drug traffickers.
“His body still hasn’t been found, & TX Rangers say the people he tried to save were drug smuggler,” Melugin added.
NEW: The TX National Guard soldier who is presumed to have drowned in the Rio Grande on Friday has been identified as 22-year-old Specialist Bishop E. Evans from Arlington, TX. His body still hasn’t been found, & TX Rangers say the people he tried to save were drug smugglers.
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) April 24, 2022
Melugin also shared photos of Evans, courtesy of his family:
NEW: First photos of 22-year-old TX National Guard SPC. Bishop E. Evans of Arlington, TX, who has been missing since Friday morning and is presumed to have drowned in the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass after he jumped in to save lives. Photos courtesy of his family. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/989c7iWAMI
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) April 24, 2022
Fox 4 added that authorities said “both migrants he was trying to save made it to shore and were taken into custody by the Border Patrol.”
Evans was stationed at the border as part of Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s “Operation Lone Star,” which began in March 2021 when the governor ordered the National Guard and other authorities to Texas’s southern border to combat the rising tide of illegal immigration under the Biden administration.
“The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden Administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration,” Abbott said in March 2021. “Texas supports legal immigration but will not be an accomplice to the open border policies that cause, rather than prevent, a humanitarian crisis in our state and endanger the lives of Texans.”
“We will surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront this crisis,” Abbott added, as reported by The Daily Wire.
That border crisis has continued unabated. The Daily Wire recently reported that in March 2022, immigration officials arrested nearly 210,000 illegal aliens attempting to sneak into the country through the southern border. An additional 11,000 or so attempted to enter the country via legal ports, despite not having a visa or permission to enter the United States.
About half of those individuals, 109,549, were expelled out of the U.S. via Title 42, a public health emergency rule that allows for expedited removal of migrants seeking asylum status. Title 42 is set to expire on May 23. The Department of Homeland Security recently stated that when it is rescinded, America should brace for as many as 18,000 migrants attempting to cross the southern border per day.
If Evans is found dead, he will be the first to have died at the border under Operation Lone Star.
The Texas Military Department issued a press release on Sunday morning commending Evans for his “selfless efforts” while noting that the search and rescue mission would continue with “the addition of three airboats from the Texas Department of Public Safety.”
The press release also noted that Evans is “from Arlington, Texas,” is “assigned to A Battery, 4-133 Field Artillery Regiment in New Braunfels Texas, and joined the Texas Army National Guard in May 2019.”
Evans also saw time in Iraq, according to the release:
He returned in the fall of 2020 from mobilization to Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait. During this mobilization, his dedication, talents, and tactical prowess led his leadership to regularly assign him to operations in Iraq in support of Special Operations Forces for short periods of time, while then rotating back into Kuwait.
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