Three-year-old migrant child drowns as family tries to cross Rio Grande near Texas dam

A toddler died when his family tried to cross the Rio Grande near a floating barrier ordered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed the incident occurred Wednesday, according to ABC News.

The three-year-old boy was swept away by strong currents and, although a Marine tactical unit was able to locate him, he later died in hospital.

In July 2023, Abbott had installed the floating barrier with buoys near Eagle Pass to prevent immigrants from crossing into his state.

The family had attempted to cross north of the dam when tragedy struck.

Another body was found later Thursday in the same area, and the Maverick County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the deaths.

Officials said that although the river may appear shallow enough to wade across, steep drop-offs can cause offenders to get caught in strong currents.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered Texas to move the buoys to the riverbank by Sept. 15 after a lawsuit filed by the Biden administration argued that the barrier forces migrants into areas where the risk of drowning is greater. .

Abbott led a legal challenge, which was upheld and the buoys remained.

A record number of migrants attempted to cross the US-Mexico border in September

(Getty)

Back in July, ABC News revealed that the Department of Justice had written a letter to Abbott about his decision to introduce the barrier stating: “The actions of the State of Texas violate federal law, raise humanitarian concerns, present serious risks to public safety and the environment, and may interfere with the ability of the federal government to perform its official duties.”

It comes as record numbers of migrants try to cross the US-Mexico border.

Data collected by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) from CBS showed that 140,000 migrants were held at the 2,000-mile border in the first 20 days of September, an average of 6,900 a day.

The numbers have been rising steadily and on Wednesday 9,000 migrants were processed – the highest daily number since May.

CBP is expected to record more than 210,000 immigration arrests in September alone, making it the most since December 2022.