A Texas sheriff blames the deaths of 49 migrants in his county on the failure of the federal government to secure the U.S.-Mexico Border. This county, located about 80 miles north, is one of the deadliest in the nation for migrants utilizing the cartel-connected human smuggling trail.
“The good news is, we recovered three fewer bodies in 2018 than we did the previous year,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told Breitbart News in an interview on Tuesday morning. “The bad news is that 49 people died because Congress and the President cannot find a way to secure the border.”
Martinez said his deputies recovered the bodies or skeletal remains of 633 during the past 11 years, making Brooks County one of the deadliest in the U.S.
Due to the partial government shutdown over border security funding, final numbers for 2018 are not available nationally, but of the at least 376 died while or shortly after crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border, Brooks County accounts for nearly 15 percent.
“Several factors lead to these deaths in our county,” Martinez explained. “U.S. Border Patrol agents operate an immigration checkpoint in the middle of our county. You can’t drive from the county’s south side to the north side without going through this checkpoint. Consequently, human smugglers who have no regard for the health or safety of these migrants march them through very dangerous ranchlands in order to bypass the checkpoint.”
During visits to Brooks County by Breitbart News, we learned that smugglers frequently give their “human cargo” a small supply of snacks and water and tell them it will be a short walk around the checkpoint.