Migrant woman dies as dozens try to swim around US-Mexico border fence

She was part of a group of 70 attempting to enter US by swimming around a metal border fence

Sravasti Dasgupta
Monday 01 November 2021 10:08

File: Texas Governor on migrants attempting to enter the US

A migrant woman trying to enter the US by swimming around a metal border fence that separates Mexico and the United States died on Friday night, officials have said.

“This is yet another example of the ruthless tactics smuggling organisations use to bolster their power and profits,” said Aaron Heitke, San Diego sector’s chief patrol agent. “We will work tirelessly to pursue and bring to justice those responsible for this tragedy.”

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said on Saturday that authorities had received a notification at 11.38pm on 29 October that the deceased migrant woman was a part of a group of about 70 people attempting to “illegally cross the international boundary” from Mexico’s Tijuana into the US at Border Field State Park.

Authorities said that an agent in the area reported that there were several people in the water, including the woman who was found to be unresponsive. Though emergency medical services performed CPR and gave medical aid, the woman was pronounced dead at 12.30am.

A total of 36 Mexican nationals — 25 men and 11 women — were taken into custody as they were part of the group that swam around the border fence that runs into the Pacific Ocean, and were transported to a nearby border patrol station for processing. It is unclear if the remaining migrants returned to Tijuana or are still missing.

The incident is the latest in a series of detentions along the Mexican border. During fiscal 2021, which ended in September, border patrol agents detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the southern border, the highest till date, reported The Washington Post, citing CBP data.

Thousands have been deported from the US border in recent months, after arriving without documentation, in a move that critics say goes against the right to seek asylum.

Earlier this week, the Joe Biden administration tried for the second time to end a Trump-era policy called “Remain in Mexico,” to make asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in US immigration court.

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