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Border Patrol Rescues Rising In Eagle Pass
By: Grace White
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The number of people caught crossing the U.S. Mexico border is rising.
Right now, border patrol agents are preparing for what often becomes the deadliest time of year, the summer.
"In the Del Rio sector, our number one threat area is the Eagle pass area," said Jose Castro, U.S. Border Patrol.
We watched as a border patrol agent stopped a woman walking in the middle of a field.
With a child by her side and a backpack strapped on, she surrounded.
"They were from Honduras, as far as we can tell right now they are claiming family, mother and son... he looks 1 or 2 years old," said David Vera, U.S. Border Patrol.
Agents are reporting an increase in the number of children crossing the border and in this area the number of rescues are up, too.
"They started saying help, at that time the river was real turbulent," said Carl Nagy, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Marine.
Nagy and his fellow marine agents rescued a mother and daughter from the Rio Grande.
"I was born in San Antonio, but I've always lived here," said Richard Hesles, who has seen the increase near his home in Eagle Pass.
"As I'm running down, about 30-40 woman, children get up and start running," said Hesles.
He worries children have become a pawn in the game.
"Even if it's not my kid or whatever, I'll take the kid with me because that's my ticket to staying here," said Hesles.
"In the past that was a tactic, I'm not sure if they are doing that today," said Vera.
Regardless, it's the kids who can be the most vulnerable in the summer heat.
Border patrol agents say that's why their mission in the air and on water has become just as important as their mission on the ground.
"Many times if it was not for border patrol agents... some of those individuals would lose their life," said Jose Castro, U.S. Border Patrol.
Most of the people crossing here are from Central America, which makes getting them back to their countries a more difficult and costly task for the United States.