U.S. border patrol agents since Thursday have located the bodies of three people who attempted to cross the country’s southern border in southern Texas, a press release issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says.
According to the release, on Thursday, the McAllen Border Patrol station received a call regarding a deceased person in the Rio Grande river near Havana, Texas, and helped to recover the body.
CBP says a second deceased person was found in the Rio Grande near Mission, Texas on Saturday.
The body was located by a U.S. Coast Guard riverine unit, CBP says.
According to the release, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, along with Mission Fire Department, recovered the deceased person from the river.
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The next day, a third person was located deceased in the brush in the ranchlands in Kenedy County.
CBP says Kingsville Border Patrol agents reported the discovery to the Kenedy County Sheriff’s office.
The third body was transported to the medical examiner’s office.
A total of 283 migrant deaths were recorded along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border last year.
The official death toll so far this year has not yet been released.
A perilous journey for asylum seekers
In July, CBP agents searched the Rio Grande River near Del Rio, Texas, in search of a missing two-year-old girl.
According to a news release issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a woman from Haiti and her toddler, a national of Brazil, were crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico on Monday when the child went missing.
On June 23, the bodies of a 20-year-old woman, two toddlers and an infant were found near the Rio Grande.
The discovery was made southeast of Anzalduas Park in Las Paloma Wildlife Management Area, an area often used for illegal border crossing.
A week earlier, a tragic photo was published of a father and daughter from El Salvador who drowned in the river on their way to the U.S.
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Oscar Alberto Martinex and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria were found face-down in shallow water along the bank of the river.
The image was captured by journalist Julia Le Duc and was published by La Jorndada, a Mexican newspaper.
The devastating photo highlights the perils that migrants face trying to reach asylum in the U.S.
According to a report by The Guardian, the river, which runs between Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas, is dangerous to cross.
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The newspaper reported that dozens of people have drowned in it in the past year.
While migrants may realize the risk upon reaching the river, The Guardian noted that turning back would mean surrendering to Mexican authorities and being sent back to their native country.
Number of asylum seekers decreasing
After a surge in May, data published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests the number of migrants CBP apprehends at the U.S.-Mexico border is decreasing.
Numbers released in June showed the U.S. Border Patrol’s apprehension of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border hit the highest level in more than a decade.
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Agents made 132,870 apprehensions in May, the first time that apprehensions have topped 100,000 since April 2007.
It set a record with 84,491 adults and children apprehended. Another 11,476 were children travelling alone, and 36,903 were single adults.
In June, the department recorded 94,908 total apprehensions.
That number fell again last month. with a total of 71,999 people apprehended in July.
— With files from Maham Abedi