The number of migrants drowning in the Rio Grande amid President Biden’s border crisis has gotten so out of control that one Texas town needs a refrigerated truck to store all the bodies.
“Two weeks ago, we had four people that drowned in one day. Now, the next day we had another drowning. The very next day we had another drowning,” Eagle Pass Fire Chief Manuel Mello III told Fox News for a report Monday.
“So, there’s so many bodies being recovered that the morticians are asking for assistance, and we’ve actually loaned them a refrigerated truck to store all of those bodies.”
Mello also said the city’s four ambulances “get overwhelmed every single day.”
“I have never seen so many drownings like we’re seeing right now,” he said.
“When I started we used to do maybe 12 a year. Now we’re doing one a day, 30 a month.”
Nearly 750 migrants died while trying to cross from Mexico into the US during fiscal 2022, which began Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, Department of Homeland Security officials told CNN earlier this month.
During the first 10 months of fiscal 2022, US immigration officials stopped more than 1.9 million people along the southern border and the annual total is expected to exceed 2 million for the first time ever.
The death toll includes nine migrants who drowned in the rain-swollen Rio Grande earlier this month, prompting the Customs and Border Patrol to plead with immigrants to avoid attempting to cross the river.
Mello said fording the Rio Grande is treacherous because the river is “very funny.”
“Sometimes, you — you’ll be walking in an area where the water will never go above your knee. But all of a sudden, you’ll have a drop of about 10, 12 feet,” he said.
“If you’re carrying a baby, you’re gonna go down 10, 12 feet with that baby.”
Mello apparently alluded to one recent horror when he said, “We had a 3-year-old baby brother that passed away.”
“The uncle was trying to cross, he fell into a deep hole in the river, let go of the baby, the baby drowned,” he said.
In addition to the tragedy for the migrants, the stress of pulling bodies from the water on a daily basis is “very traumatic for my personnel,” Mello said.
“These are young, young gentlemen, young women that are seeing more than any normal person would see,” he said.
“I mean, if you think about it, it’s almost like a war zone.”
Given the current situation, Mello said, “I don’t see any end in sight.”
“I would like to see the federal government jump in and help out in whatever way they can so that could be alleviated. If they could at least stop this migration that would be awesome,” he said.
“One thing that I would ask any government official [is] to come and see what’s going on down here in Eagle Pass.”