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Tipsheet

New Tactic: Smugglers Are Pushing Adults and Kids Into the Rio Grande to Distract Border Patrol Agents

Last week a photo of a man and his daughter went viral after they drowned together in the Rio Grande. It happened while they attempted to enter the United States illegally. 

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According to Border Patrol agents, pushing adults and children into the river is a new tactic being used as a distraction by smugglers. While agents focus their attention on water rescue missions, they take advantage.

"Smugglers are often placing children in nothing more than makeshift rafts or on pool toys to cross the dangerous Rio Grande river. On multiple occasions, smugglers have pushed adults and children out of these rafts knowing that agents will prioritize life while the smugglers swim back to Mexico to evade arrest," Border Patrol Chief Brian Hasting said during testimony on Capitol Hill last week. "So far this fiscal year Border Patrol agents have rescued more than 3400 people in distress along the border and saved nearly 2500 people crammed into tractor trailers."

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Over the weekend Border Patrol agents rescued a 13-year-old boy who was drowning in the river.

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