Migrant woman fights off smuggler during attempted sexual assault on U.S. side of border

Border Report Tour

The banks of the Rio Grande is shown on June 18, 2021 in Roma, Texas. A surge of mostly Central American immigrants crossing into the United States has challenged U.S. immigration agencies along the U.S. Southern border. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A migrant woman from Honduras fought off a smuggler who attempted to sexually assault her in the brush on Tuesday in Hidalgo, Texas.

The woman entered the country illegally with her husband and young child. But once on the U.S. side, a “brush guide” separated the family and told them to hide in different areas.

The woman then found herself alone with the “brush guide,” who reportedly forced her to the ground and ripped her pants and shirt.

The woman began yelling and fighting back and was able to escape and find her husband.

Tuesday night’s incident highlights how cartel smuggling operations continue when migrants set foot in the U.S.

A Border Patrol spokesman told Border Report that the so-called “brush guides” typically don’t deal with migrant families or unaccompanied children, who are more likely to surrender to border agents. Instead, he said, they guide single adults who don’t want to get caught.

Border Patrol Agent Christian Alvarez, a special operations specialist for the Rio Grande Valley Sector, said the brush guides are either positioned on the U.S. side or ride in rafts carrying migrants across the Rio Grande. They help migrants hide and avoid the Border Patrol, eventually helping them get to stash houses.

In the case of the migrant mother, the guide “already had bad intentions,” Alvarez said

After escaping, the woman was able to find her husband. She ran toward agents from McCallen Station, who medically assessed her and took the family into custody.

Local law enforcement officials investigated, though they were not able to locate a suspect.

“They got back” to Mexico, Alvarez said.

He told Border Report that migrant encounters in the RGV Sector continue at high rates and that agents there apprehend at least 1,000 migrants a day.

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