The Texas Military Department said that it is hopeful the search will resume on Saturday.
‘We are in the process of notifying the next of kin regarding the missing Soldier.’
Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the Guard member was part of the border security initiative Operation Lone Star, which was ordered by Governor Greg Abbott.
Olivarez said the powerful river currents in the area have resulted in at least 10 drownings this week alone.
Jon Anfinsen, local president of the Border Patrol union in the Del Rio sector, said the river was deceptively dangerous.
He said 11 bodies of migrants have been recovered this month alone from the U.S. side of this stretch of river, and 12 on the Mexican side.
‘Sometimes you see migrants use an inner tube, but in this part of the river, people hold hands and walk across in a human chain,’ he told The Washington Post.
‘If they step in a hole, that’s it.
‘The river looks calm and walkable but it’s fast-moving and deceiving.’
The sheriff of Maverick County said on Friday that the Guardsman, who has yet to be identified, entered the water when he noticed a group of migrants attempting to cross the river and a female member of the group that appeared to be in distress.
Texas State Police have since said that the soldier drowned.
‘He dove in to get her, and he never came back up,’ said Sheriff Tom Schmerber, speaking to DailyMail.com on Friday.
He said the soldier jumped into a portion of the river in Eagle Pass, Texas – a border town 143 miles southwest of San Antonio – in an attempt to save the woman around 8:30 am CT.
Schmerber was called to the scene more than an hour after the soldier failed to resurface.
‘That area of the river is very dangerous this time of year,’ he told DailyMail.com.
‘Very strong tides and currents. He did not resurface.’
Deputies recovered a walkie talkie and body armor belonging to the soldier on Friday afternoon, more than two hours after he went into the water, Schmerber said.
Sheriff Schmerber told DailyMail.com that it was unlikely the officer was still alive.
‘After more than three hours, it is very doubtful,’ he said.
Schmerber also revealed that the migrant, swimming across the river with several others when the Guardman jumped into action, was not actually drowning, and only appeared to be struggling with the strong current.
‘She successfully made it to the US side of the river herself, where she was taken into Border Patrol custody,’ where she remained Friday afternoon, Schmerber said.
The rest of her group, the sheriff revealed, were sent by border officials back to Mexico.
The area serves as a common crossing point for migrants entering the country from Mexico.
The rescue attempt comes as the Biden Administration continues to struggle with the US’ escalating border crisis, which has seen a record 221,303 migrants apprehended by border officials last month – 55,409 more than the month prior.
The number eclipsed a previous record set in July 2021, where US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) apprehended 213,593 migrants.
Illegal immigration has soared since Joe Biden assumed office early last year, with more 1 million migrant encounters recorded in the first half of Fiscal Year 2022, according to the CBP – a pace that would see the US record a record 2 million encounters by the end of the fiscal year.
Since October 1, 2021 – the start of fiscal year 2022 – border officers have recorded 1,060,954 incidents with migrants. CBP documented 164,847 interdictions in October; 174,846 in November; and closed out December with 179,252 incidents.
CBP documented 164,847 interdictions in October; 174,846 in November; and closed out December with 179,252 incidents.
Encounters tailed off in January when 154,812 were reported before spiking up to 165,894 in February.
Las year’s fiscal year saw a still-marked 1,734,686 interdictions – a number that’s expected to rise, when the president repeals Trump-era policy Title 42, a law designed to immediately expel migrants to protect the US from COVID, early next month.
The looming policy shift has sparked fears that a further 500,000 migrants a month could begin making the sometimes perilous crossing, often through the raging Rio Grande, which covers a sprawling 1,255 mile segment of the US-Mexico border.