Near-freezing temperatures led to the deaths of what border patrol agents have labeled an unusually high number of immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley last week.
In all, 10 were killed in the cold snap, though they were scattered throughout the valley. Of them, eight were found near Falfurrias, Texas, and two were discovered in Hidalgo and Norias, Texas. Agents had been tipped off by the discovery of two on a local ranch near Falfurrias. A third was found during the course of recovery of those bodies, and a fourth was found days later during routine patrol operations.
The rest were found dispersed throughout the area, from Highway 281 to rancher-made discoveries. In one case, an immigrant was found distressed but alive in Norias, Texas, only to lose consciousness during treatment and die before reaching a hospital.
“Illegal immigrants are victimized and lied to by smugglers who lead them through treacherous terrain and expose them to extreme conditions,” Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. said. “Those unable to keep up are left behind; some are rescued by Border Patrol agents but, tragically, we don’t find others until it is too late.”