The United States Customs and Border Patrol announced last Friday that on August 15 authorities rescued 28 migrants from drowning after a smuggler abandoned them waist-deep in the Rio Grande River while attempting to illegally sneak into the United States. Fourteen of these individuals were minors, according to a press release sent out by the agency.
"These individuals found themselves in a life-threating situation, which is unfortunate and far too common as smugglers continue to show no empathy for people they attempt to cross illegally into the United States,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a statement. "Had our agents not been there to provide rescue efforts, the situation could have ended in tragedy."
According to the report, "The group entered the river guided by a smuggler who left them stranded in high-current waist-deep water." A border patrol marine vehicle quickly came to their aid. Several were swept away in the strong currents, which then forced the border patrol to send a second boat to rescue these individuals. The children ranged in age from eight months to 17-years-old.
As reported by the New York Times, smugglers like the ones who left these migrants to die to make roughly $500 million per year from illegal immigration into the U.S.. The Department of Homeland Security reports that migrants pay up to $9,200 per person to be transported from Mexico and Central American nations like Honduras into the country. By that figure, the rescued migrants paid $257,600 just to be left to drown.