Migrant girl found stranded on mini island in the middle of Rio Grande


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EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Border agents in a marine unit rescued an injured child from a river island in the middle of the Rio Grande.

Agents assigned to the Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector encountered the stranded girl while conducting inland waterway patrols on March 11 in Eagle Pass, Texas, U.S. Custom and Border Protection said in a news release.

Doyle E. Amidon, Jr., the Del Rio Sector acting chief patrol agent, said human smugglers likely abandoned the girl.

This image from Google Earth shows a river island in the middle of the Rio Grande in an area of the border between Roma and Escobares, Texas.

“Smugglers continue to show no concern for individuals attempting to illegally enter the United States,” Amidon said. “The dedication and quick response of our agents prevented a potentially fatal situation for this injured child.”

The extent of the girl’s injuries are unknown, but agents said she was taken to Fort Duncan Medical Center for evaluation. She will be processed per CBP guidelines, the release said.

Mini islands on Rio Grande provide cover for human smugglers and drug runners in South Texas

Over decades, mini islands have formed all along the Rio Grande and have become a hiding place for drug smugglers, human traffickers, and even spots from where U.S. agents have been fired upon.

They are the product of sediment that has built up over time and with the tide flow, forming land masses right in the middle of the river. They are, in effect, “no man’s land,” literally in between the border.

In January, Christian Alvarez, a Border Patrol supervisory agent from the Rio Grande Valley Sector, gave Border Report a border tour that highlighted these mini islands.

Near the Texas town of Roma, Alvarez said, the wild brush and vegetation on these landmasses — some estimated to be about 50 feet wide — allow those with nefarious intentions to get halfway across the river, lay low and then wait for U.S. agents to leave the area high-tailing it 40-yards across the river to the U.S.

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.