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Brooks County officials said extreme heat putting migrants at greater risk

Posted at 2:48 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 15:49:46-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With temperatures reaching triple digits this summer, authorities are discouraging migrants from trying to illegally cross into the United States.

Since January, the Brooks County Sheriff's Office said it has seen over 50 deaths, and extreme heat is a concern.

"It could be different reasons," said the Brooks County Sheriff Office's Daniel Davila. "Some years are not as high but this year the heat, it started getting hot real soon here in South Texas."

Officials are anticipating a busy season, as migrants travel on foot through brushland in an attempt to go around the checkpoint near Falfurrias.

Davila said smugglers don't care about the welfare of migrants.

"A lot of these people get into the brush and they don't know," he said. "They bring a gallon of water and they think they'll be fine. They instruct them or tell them that they'll be walking for about an hour or so and then they're going to get picked up and that's not the case."

South Texas Human Rights Center executive director Eduardo Canales told KRIS 6 News he'll never have enough water stations for those making the dangerous journey.

"We're trying to double our efforts in the water stations, we're (doubling) our effort to documenting the missing, and double the efforts to assist families," Canales said.

Some migrants are trying to cross the checkpoint in the back of trucks with no water, putting their lives at risk.

On Monday, authorities found 51 migrants dead after being trapped inside a sweltering tractor-trailer near San Antonio.

Falfurrias Police Chief John Garcia said his department is trying to stop that trend.

"It's not just random numbers," he said. "These are actual people who lost their lives because someone was careless or someone was trying to do something illegal."