Border Patrol agents find 16 migrants crammed into a Texas hotel room after illegally entering the US from Mexico through storm drains
- Rio Grande Valley agents received information about a hotel in Edinburg, Texas, used to house undocumented migrants on Sept. 17
- They saw two people enter the suspicious room with several jugs of water and groceries
- The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office conducted a welfare check and immediately noticed more than 10 people in the room
- Officers identified ten of the subjects as citizens of Honduras, five as citizens of El Salvador and one from Mexico
- The illegal immigrants claimed they had waited nearly 30 days to be transported further to the US
- Other migrants were found in a stormwater drain later that day and earlier this month
- Rio Grande Valley Border Protection has rescued more than 1,000 migrants so far this year
- Cops urge people trying to reach US illegally not to risk their lives walking down sewer pipes
Sixteen migrants were found hiding in a hotel room in Edinburg, Texas, after walking through a storm drain to illegally enter the country from Mexico.
Border Patrol agents found the overcrowded two-bed room at the hotel on Sept. 17 after responding to a tip that it was being used to shelter illegal immigrants.
When Rio Grande Valley officers arrived on the scene, they saw two people carrying several jugs of water and shopping bags into a room.
They monitored the area before the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office conducted a welfare check.
Officers identified ten of the nationals as citizens of Honduras, five as citizens of El Salvador and one from Mexico.
The illegal migrants claimed they had been in the US for more than 30 days, waiting to be taken further into the country.
Border Patrol officers found 16 migrants hiding in a two-bed hotel room for more than 30 days after using storm drain to illegally enter Texas
The illegal migrants claimed they had been in the US for more than 30 days and were waiting to be taken further into the country
In the early morning of the next day, officers from the McAllen Border Patrol Station found people in a storm drain in Hidalgo, a town 25.22 miles away from Edinburg.
Hidalgo police and officers set up a perimeter and arrested three illegal migrants who left the storm drain.
An hour later, three more subjects were caught exiting the same drain, including one unaccompanied minor. The group of six people was detained before they were later identified as citizens of Honduras and Mexico.
Later in the evening, more migrants were seen in the same storm drain.
Hidalgo and Border Patrol officers found shoeprints of at least three people exiting the sewage system before finally finding four people two hours later after exiting the storm drain.
They were also citizens of Mexico and Honduras.
Using water drainage systems to illegally enter the United States is extremely dangerous, officials said in a statement on Sept. 20.
“Transnational criminal organizations that use municipal sewage systems to illegally smuggle migrants into the United States for monetary gain are extremely dangerous,” a CBP statement said.
In September, smugglers in Brownsville and Hidalgo, Texas used the same dangerous smuggling tactics as U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the common practice is known as “extremely dangerous”
On September 14, US customs and border security officials said migrants led into the country by smugglers were found in drains in Hidalgo and Brownsville.
Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings tweeted a photo of migrants queuing after being found in a sewage system
‘Drainwater systems can unexpectedly be filled with rainwater. Toxic gas, some of which is odorless, poses a significant health risk. Sewage contains bacteria, parasites and viruses that can infect an open sore almost immediately or have devastating health-related effects later on. Drainage systems are designed to move water quickly and not be ingested by people. So the airflow and oxygen can be restrictive, leaving a person easily disoriented or fainting.”
Other migrants, led into the country by smugglers, were also found in drainage pipes in Hidalgo and Brownsville on Sept. 14, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
Migrants found in Brownsville needed help from border patrol officers and the local fire department to get out of the sewer pipe, officials said. In fact, it took about two hours to help a person out of a manhole.
Everyone in the group got out safely before they were detained, officials said.
Rio Grande Valley Border Protection has so far rescued more than 1,000 migrants in 2021, officials said. They urge migrants not to risk their lives by illegally entering the United States.