Fewer immigrants dying while crossing through Brooks County

Brooks County sheriff's deputies Wednesday chased a stolen truck loaded with illegal immigrants until it crashed into some brush. Two were captured while about 15 others escaped.

BROOKS COUNTY (KIII NEWS) - Brooks County sheriff's deputies Wednesday chased a stolen truck loaded with illegal immigrants until it crashed into some brush. Two were captured while about 15 others escaped.
 
That is said to be a typical day for law officers in Brooks County. They also say another common occurance is finding the bodies of illegal immigrants as they patrol the brush; but the sheriff said they are actually finding fewer bodies compared to just a few years ago.
 
The latest body to be discovered in Brooks County happened about three or four days ago. It was a young man from Guatemala in his mid-20s, early 30s. He was found out on a ranch just west of Falfurrias.
 
Brooks County has seen hundreds of immigrants die there over the years, proving that it is a dangerous and deadly proposition to cross the brush country on foot.
 
The Sacred Heart Cemetery in Falfurrias is where hundreds of those bodies ended up being buried; a situation that drew worldwide attention to the county after the remains were found to have been thrown together in trash bags -- human remains that eventually had forensic scientists from universities trying to identify them and get them back to their relatives.
 
It's a story that should have signaled a warning to all who consider crossing through Brooks County on foot.
 
"I don't think they, even if they were to listen to that, I don't think that's going to keep them from coming," Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez said. "I believe they're going to come if they're determined to do so. They're coming."
 
Sheriff Martinez added that while they are still coming through his county, the number of deaths have actually been dropping over the past few years.
 
"During 2016 compared with June of 2017, there was a 40-percent increase," Martinez said. "Now as a whole, from '09 to now, we are pretty much at a 50-percent decrease."
 
Martinez attributes the increase in law enforcement along the border as the reason for the decrease of bodies discovered there. He believes that immigrants need to be stopped at the border before they reach his county.
 
So far this year, there have been 31 bodies found in Brooks County.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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