A Texas Army National Guard disappeared while trying to save illegal migrants crossing Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, a situation that highlights the seriousness of the border crisis.
The guard, Bishop E. Evans, 22-year- old from Arlington, Texas, swam into the river attempting to rescue two migrants who appeared to be drowning.
A Texas Military Department statement released by Fox News revealed that the Texas Rangers determined from initial reports that the two migrants the guard tried to save “were involved in illicit transnational narcotics trafficking.”
“The search for the missing TMD soldier will continue until we have exhausted all available resources,” the statement said.
“The Texas Military Department is thankful to all interagency partners for their continued support in this operation to locate our missing soldier. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family,” they declared.
Gov. Greg Abbott, in a tweet on Sunday, posted a photograph of Evans and referred to him as a “hero who risked his life in service to Texas & America.”
GOP lawmakers echoed the news, writing on Twitter that the “border crisis is going from catastrophe to tragedy” in the wake of the American soldier’s disappearance.
Evans, a field artilleryman and part of the 4-133rd Field Artillery Regiment of Battery A in New Braunfels, joined the Texas Army National Guard in May 2019 and had served in Kuwait and Iraq, according to the military department.
Evans was sent to the Eagle Pass area as part of Operation Lone Star, launched by Abbott more than a year ago, which involved the Texas National Guard and the Department of Public Service to combat the surge of immigrants entering the country illegally.
Border crisis worsens with surge of illegal migrants
The number of illegal migrants crossing the southern border skyrocketed during the month of March, reaching record levels since 2000, according to figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
According to the data, Border Protection processed 221,303 illegal migrants, surpassing the previous peak under the Biden administration in July 2021, when U.S. officials recorded 213,593 apprehensions.