As the crisis at the southern border continues, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Tactical Marine Unit recovered four dead over the holiday weekend.

DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez reported that the TMU was deployed Saturday to recover the bodies of an adult woman and a baby girl.

“A female adult & female infant were unresponsive,” said Olivarez. “TMU operators immediately performed chest compressions on the two. Medical staff arrived on the scene & transported both to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center, where both were pronounced deceased.”

TMU was deployed again Sunday to recover the body of a male, and then again on Monday to recover the body of a female.

Since none of the deceased had identifying documents on their person—likely in an attempt to claim asylum in the U.S.—DPS is unable to notify or return the bodies to their families.

“After Title 42 went away, people think that the border crisis went away,” border expert and former ICE Agent Victor Avila told Texas Scorecard.  “And it actually got worse.”

Because the Biden administration put it out that if you have a child with you, Title 8 will not be implemented or be used against you. So, guess what happened––people started picking up children to bring them across. We’re going backwards here.

During the Trump administration, DNA testing of children and their supposed parents was enacted in an effort to dissuade smugglers from using children to cross the border.

“They were bringing kids that were not theirs and recycling children. It was a mess,” said Avila. “When the DNA testing kicked in, and they started using it immediately, the smugglers and the people bringing the children abandoned the children and said, ‘Oh, no, that’s not my child,’ because they knew they were going to be tested. And it dramatically stopped and reduced those numbers.”

Since Biden took office, DNA testing of children and parents had been used sparingly until May 2023, when it was officially discontinued by the Biden administration.

However, U.S. Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) is pushing to re-establish the DNA testing.

Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents and Texas Department of Public Safety officers under Operation Lone Star continue pulling bodies from the river and recovering bodies in the South Texas brush.

“They’re demoralized,” said Avila.

You can see it in their eyes. I can see it in their demeanor there. And I compare it with any profession; it doesn’t matter what you do for a living––if you’re a doctor, or a teacher, a banker––if you’re not allowed to do the job that you were trained to do, and paid to do, it does something to your psyche. It eventually starts affecting you, and more so when it involves security at the border and involves deaths … and involves dead bodies in the desert, swollen bodies that are being drowned in the river. … I don’t think the morale even exists at this point.

As citizens await another federal election to see changes in policy, Avila says he believes “we” can fix the border crisis. “I know we can with a new administration, with a new staff, with new people that care about the United States and Texas.”

Meanwhile, Texans are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to assume the powers present in the invasion clauses of the U.S. and Texas constitutions, which have been clearly laid out in a step-by-step plan, and secure the state from the ongoing invasion at the Texas-Mexico border.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.