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Sheriff: 41 immigrants have been found dead in South Texas brush country this year

Brooks County Sheriff Martinez said there is a solution to this problem but it does not involve more border walls.

BROOKS COUNTY, Texas — The Coastal Bend may not have any international borders, but on a daily basis, local law enforcement are kept extremely busy. 

41 immigrants have been found dead in the brush country of South Texas this year, Sheriff of Brooks County Benny Martinez told 3News. 

"We picked up number 41. He was sitting underneath the tree, so we just secured the body and he was still in tact," Martinez said. 

"Most of the time, they're out there more than four days," Brooks County Deputy Jose Lemus said. "They don't have no water, no food. They just give up."

Almost on a day-to-day basis, the Brooks County Sheriff's Department have their work cut out for them because there are so many people trying to get north of the Sarita checkpoint without documentation, and risking their own lives to do it. 

"There was a time last month during one of my shifts, I would get two bodies each day of my shift," Lemus said.

Sheriff Martinez said there is a solution to this problem but it does not involve more border walls, because that won't stop people from coming in. Martinez said the fix needs to start from deeper. 

"The issue is that we're kind of staying away from is 'immigration reform.' It has to be that. That will minimize all this death, it will minimize everything," Martinez said. "As you mentioned earlier, the fact that it takes so long. I have a friend of mine that's still in the process. It's been 25-30 years now."

Martinez said one life lost is too many. 

"Every single person that we pick up, every single body has a story to it. We'll never know that story." 

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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