Legless man rescued by Border Patrol agents

Border patrol agents had to rescue a double amputee from an island in the middle of the Rio Grande River this week.

It happened on Wednesday, March 20.  Agents from the Eagle Pass Station marine unit, saw the man by himself in a wheelchair stranded on an island in the center of the river.

Agents went to the island and found out the man was a 37-year-old Guatemalan. The man claimed he crossed to the island on his own, but was unable to continue the crossing to shore.

The Border Patrol says he was determined to be in the United States illegally and was assisted to the U.S. shore for medical attention and processing.

It comes on the heels of two other encounters with people with special needs.

On March 19, a 41-year-old Honduran man was apprehended crossing the Rio Grande.  Agents say they quickly realized that he could neither hear nor speak, making communication a challenge.

On March 18, a 36-year-old Honduran woman was arrested entering the United States illegally with her step-brother.  She was found to have a mental impairment that causes her or to become agitated and inconsolable.  The woman was calmed by her step-brother, so processing could be completed.

"The current humanitarian crisis on the border is stressing our immigration system," said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez. "Our stations and processing centers were never designed to handle the current demographics of families and medical cases that we are experiencing."

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.