From CNSNews: Chief Deputy Sheriff Benny Martinez of Brooks County, Texas, revealed to members of Congress Tuesday that since 2008, his officers have recovered the bodies of 443 illegal aliens along their 934-square-mile section of the Southwest U.S. border at the southernmost tip of Texas. This is a rate of about six bodies per month.
Although the Brooks County Sheriff’s Department has spent nearly $700,000 in body recovery efforts — about half of the department’s budget — Martinez estimates they recover less than half of all illegal aliens who die while being smuggled across the unsecured border in Brooks County alone.
“The sad reality is that many of those who are being led through the brush by the smuggler do not survive the demanding journey,” Martinez explained during Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
While hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border every year, crossings that result in death are all too common. CNSNews.com reported several deaths last year, including an 11-year-old boy from Guatemala found dead in Texas and a 32-year old pregnant woman who died along with her unborn child after being abandoned by smugglers in California.
During the hearing, Martinez went on to explain how Mexican gangs and drug cartels control the southern U.S. border and take advantage of unsecured areas to smuggle drugs and people across privately owned ranches in Brooks County, forcing local law enforcement to expend money and resources simply to recover those who don’t make the journey. Continue reading