EAGLE PASS, Texas (Border Report) — Sixty-eight-year-old patriarch Jose Villafranca, of Honduras, led his and another family of migrants across the Rio Grande and then helped the group scale a fence topped with barbed wire on the riverbanks.
Villafranca told Border Report on Monday that they walked for about three hours after illegally crossing the Rio Grande into Eagle Pass, Texas, from Piedras Negras, Mexico.
“It was very hard,” he said in Spanish, adding that they had “nothing,” not even no water.
The trip from La Ceiba, Honduras, took the family four months, he said. They came to work.
What little they did have he carried in a white garbage bag on his head in the waist-high water.
They also put two small boys on their shoulders as they waded along the banks looking for a gap in the shoulder-high concertina wire placed along the riverbanks.
They were with a family from Colombia and shared and helped each other.
They walked several miles because of concertina wire strung along the river’s banks as part of Operation Lone Star, which is Texas’ border security initiative. They also walked past a controversial 1,000-foot-long string of border buoys the state recently put in the river to deter illegal immigration from Mexico.
They crossed just hours before Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took four other visiting Republican governors on an aerial tour of this part of the border, including the border buoys.
A 25-year-old woman suffered gashes on her thighs. Her daughter’s feet were cut as she struggled to hoist over the security wire.
In this Border Report exclusive video, watch as the group help one another to scale the metal fence and barbed wire, after they maneuvered around the border buoys.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.