U.S. Border Patrol - Rio Grande Valley Sector, has apprehended 221, 115 immigrants along the Rio Grande, who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally through April 2021. Many try to avoid agents by contracting a smuggler to guide them around checkpoints. Walking for days on private ranches, many are left behind to die in the brush. Brooks County and the Rio Grande Valley to the south have been popular smuggling routes for decades, a reliable barometer of immigrant deaths borderwide. Six months into 2021, deaths in the county had already reached 55, up from a total of 34 last year and above the five-year average.

ENCINO, TEXAS - JUNE 03: U.S. Border Patrol discovers the remains of deceased male immigrant, Alfonso Nieto Valladares, 25, of Honduras, on a ranch in Brooks County in Encino, Texas.

U.S. Border Patrol discovers the remains of deceased male immigrant, Alfonso Nieto Valladares, 25, of Honduras, on a ranch in Brooks County in Encino, Texas.

MCALLEN, TEXAS - JUNE 02: ​A group of immigrants consisting of one Mexican and nine Central Americans are caught by U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in McAllen, Texas.

A group of immigrants consisting of one Mexican and nine Central Americans are caught by U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in McAllen, Texas.

MCALLEN, TEXAS - JUNE 02: Oney Figueroa, 22, of Honduras, collapses from exhaustion after trying to run from U.S. Border Patrol agents, shown with Eduardo Mejia, 34, left, and Antonio Herrera, 42, of Honduras, in McAllen, Texas.

Oney Figueroa, 22, of Honduras, collapses from exhaustion after trying to run from U.S. Border Patrol agents, shown with Eduardo Mejia, 34, left, and Antonio Herrera, 42, of Honduras, in McAllen, Texas.

MISSION, TEXAS - JUNE 02: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jesse Moreno, of the Rio Grande Valley Sector, looks for migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 in Mission, Texas, USA. There has been 221,115 migrants apprehende

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jesse Moreno, of the Rio Grande Valley Sector, looks for immigrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in Mission, Texas.

LA JOYA, TEXAS - JUNE 02: Mileydi Barrela, 26, of Honduras, and daughter Zoe Barrela, eight, who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, wait to board a bus to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in La Joya, Texas.

Mileydi Barrela, 26, of Honduras, and daughter Zoe Barrela, eight, who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, wait to board a bus to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in La Joya, Texas.

MCALLEN, TEXAS - JUNE 02: Eduardo Mejia, 34, Oney Figueroa, 22, and Antonio Herrera, 42, of Honduras, are caught by U.S. Border Patrol, after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in McAllen, Texas.

Eduardo Mejia, 34, Oney Figueroa, 22, and Antonio Herrera, 42, of Honduras, are caught by U.S. Border Patrol, after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in McAllen, Texas.

LA JOYA, TEXAS - JUNE 02: Immigrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, prepare to board a bus to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Rio Grande Valley Sector, in La Joya, Texas.

Immigrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, prepare to board a bus to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Rio Grande Valley Sector, in La Joya, Texas.

FALFURRIAS, TEXAS - JUNE 04: Alonzo Rangel, funeral director of Funeraria Del Angel, covers the remains of deceased female immigrant, Rosario Yanira Girón de Orellana, 40, of El Salvador, found on a ranch in Brooks County in Falfurrias, Texas.

Alonzo Rangel, funeral director of Funeraria Del Angel, covers the remains of deceased female immigrant, Rosario Yanira Girón de Orellana, 40, of El Salvador, found on a ranch in Brooks County in Falfurrias, Texas.

FALFURRIAS, TEXAS - JUNE 04: Alonzo Rangel, funeral director of Funeraria Del Angel, and Brooks County Deputy Raul Narvaez load the remains of deceased female, Rosario Yanira Girón de Orellana, 40, of El Salvador, found on a ranch in Brooks County

Alonzo Rangel, funeral director of Funeraria Del Angel, and Brooks County Deputy Raul Narvaez load the remains of deceased female immigrant, Rosario Yanira Girón de Orellana, 40, of El Salvador, found on a ranch in Brooks County in Falfurrias, Texas.

FALFURRIAS, TEXAS - JUNE 04: A rosary found with the remains of deceased female immigrant, Rosario Yanira Girón de Orellana, 40, of El Salvador, drapes her waist, at the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office in Falfurrias, Texas.

A rosary found with the remains of deceased female immigrant, Rosario Yanira Girón de Orellana, 40, of El Salvador, drapes her waist, at the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office in Falfurrias, Texas. Read the story at https://lat.ms/350kEvb

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