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People Using Anzalduas Dam to Cross into US Illegally

3 years 6 months 4 days ago Friday, July 21 2017 Jul 21, 2017 July 21, 2017 5:54 PM July 21, 2017 in News

MISSION – Fewer people are reportedly crossing the border illegally, but that doesn’t mean it’s stopped completely.

Some families are continuing to cross the Rio Grande making their way past the Anzalduas Dam, up the levee and into the park.

Jesus Garcia, a resident, said he would visit Anzalduas Park when he was younger. Recently, he made a stop at the park and noted some changes.

“We used to come with my dad a lot, and there used to be a lot more people, but now it’s just empty ever since all that stuff started happening,” he said.

Garcia knows the dangers across the river. His mother lives in Reynosa near the Anzalduas Dam.

“It’s just scary. She calls me like every once in a while,” he said.

He mentioned gunshots could be heard. He said he fears the unknown from the people who cross through the river’s current.

“It’s just crazy people just risk all that just coming across over here, and we don’t even know if there like dangerous or regular people,” Garcia said.

The Anzalduas Park’s entrance is its exit.

Earlier in the week, CHANNEL 5 NEWS saw nine people, mothers and their daughters, entering the park. They waited for local authorities and Border Patrol to arrive.

Minutes later, our cameras saw young boys enter the Rio Grande on the Mexican side. They carried what looked like some kind of Styrofoam raft.

They handed another young boy paddles and pushed him over to the U.S.

“We’re still out there. Law enforcement is still out there. They’re walking to us now. They’re no longer being chased,” Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Constable Larry Gallardo said.

Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Constables are the first line of defense. Gallardo said people crossing on the pavement near the Anzalduas Dam is normal.

“Nothing’s changes, I think it’s slowed down for a while but there’s still an effort to come across,” he said.

Gallardo said their main concern is that drugs and criminals stay out of the park. He advised us the International Boundary Water Commission oversees dams and levees.

IBWC spokesperson Lori Kuczmanski explained the security protocols. She sent us the following statement:

"We call the local authorities and they do the apprehensions. We don't detain due to security reasons. As general policy, we don't disclose our security measures for safety reasons."

Kuczmanski said just the dam and office are fenced in.

Gallardo said they caught many people acting as if they were visiting the park. He said they will also continue to monitor the area and work with federal authorities to keep the park safe.

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