"A 19-year-old pregnant migrant wades towards the U.S. shore, deep enough in the Rio Grande for waves to splash against her waist. Pushing through the river's current, and mindful of an alligator lingering upriver, she guides her friend's crying 10-year-old boy towards a U.S. border-patrol rescue boat. As the boat carries them on the final leg of their journey to the United States from Honduras, the young woman waves back to a group on Mexico's riverbank cheering her rescue.
The day before, border-patrol agents at the Eagle Pass River crossing in South Texas had found the body of a man too decomposed to be easily identified. A couple of days earlier, a video of a man desperately trying to swim against the current before going limp and sinking circulated in Mexican news media. And in early May, border-patrol agents at Eagle Pass pulled the body of a 10-month-old baby from the Rio Grande after a raft carrying nine migrants overturned. Only five survived.
The sad moments are the deaths. Unfortunately, we've seen some of those," says Bryan Kemmett, the border-patrol agent in charge of Eagle Pass, a town of 29,000 about an hour from the larger Del Rio. "The more troubling ones, the ones more recently, are the small infants. When you see the small infant and you hear the infant dying, you think about your own children."