Agent Rescues Family In Canal

"Maria" is an undocumented immigrant from Guanajuato, Mexico.

The Mexican woman, her 16-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son nearly drowned illegally crossing into the United States in a canal north of the Rio Grande.

Maria told Action 4 News that it's the worst experience she's ever had.

She said a Border Patrol agent came to their rescue at the right moment.

Border Patrol spokesman John Lopez told Action 4 News.

"He immediately went to their aid and pulled a 14-year old boy out of the water, as the pulled the boy out of the water the boy's shirt came off," Lopez said. "The agent with his training and strictly used it as an extension to aid the others in coming out of the water."

The family was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment.

"The woman stated that at the point of their need or the panic...when they were at the point of drowning, that the would-be smuggler fled the scene and left them for dead," Lopez said.

Maria agrees with Border Patrol saying all smugglers care about is the money.

"We have had many rescues recently," Lopez said. "In desert-like the water...and I mean...we also have encountered, sadly, we have encountered deaths throughout the areas also."

Maria said she has learned from this experience and says the safest way to come to the United States is to do it legally.

She adds that she's very grateful for Border Patrol who she says are not only there to protect the border, but immigrants like her and her family.