Dying to Get In: The Perilous Journey to America Part II - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Dying to Get In: The Perilous Journey to America Part II

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AREA 3 (Kiii News) - The body of an illegal immigrant was found on King Ranch Friday. This time, it was a 28-year old woman from El Salvador.

That brings the total of dead illegal immigrants that have been found so far this year in Brooks County to 39, and that is just in one county.

The Brooks County Sheriff's Department said it's worse than it's ever been. Some immigrants are rescued, but many die when trying to enter the country illegally.

Evidence of their activity can be found all throughout South Texas. Jim Wells and Brooks County authorities pointed out places in both counties that immigrants travel through, and places that they go and wait to be picked up.

In Jim Wells County, a barbed-wire fence has an indention, a sign of being climbed over by illegal immigrants in order to get into the brush on the other side. From there, they can head to their next pickup spot.

In Brooks County, on Highway 285, there are marks on the road near a barbed-wire fence, in a hot spot where coyotes tend to stop to pickup illegal immigrants. Coyote is a term for individuals that transport illegal immigrants into the country.

On the other side of the barbed-wire fence, clothing is scattered all over the place, and in the distance there are empty jugs of water in another spot that illegal immigrants tend to wait at to be picked up by coyotes.

Along Highway 285 on June 18, 29-year old Victoriano, a man from Guatemala, was found in the 100-plus degree heat. He had been lost for two days, and without food.

Victoriano said he was in a group of nine, but fell asleep, and when he awoke, he was alone. He said he paid thousands of dollars to a coyote, money he borrowed against his land in Guatemala.

Back home, his children don't have anything to eat. He begged and pleaded for help, saying that if one could see the poverty in his own country, they would understand that risking his life to come to America is worth it.

Victoriano said that he knows he's breaking the law, but all he wanted to do was help his family. He said he's not here to commit any crimes. He just wants to work.

The Guatemalan was planning to go to Houston in search of work, and asked a deputy from the Brooks County Sheriff's Department to leave him in San Antonio, saying that he would be content with just making a little bit of money, and having a little bit of food. He said the economy is really bad in Guatemala, and that they only pay you $3 a day. If he goes back home, they're going to take everything away, his land and his property, because he borrowed the money to come to America.

The sheriff's deputy said he can't take him to San Antonio. After giving Victoriano water and food, Brooks County Investigator Danny Davila took Victoriano into custody to hand him over to he U.S. Border Patrol.

In a sense, Victoriano is one of the fortunate ones, because he survived the brush.

Unlike a man from Mexico, who was found unconscious in the heat of the brush in Duval County June 9. Another man had flagged down off-duty Captain Joe Martinez from the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department to ask for help. Martinez and another officer he was with tried to cool him off, but the man didn't make it. He passed away later that day in a hospital, having died trying to get in.

Part I

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