In a quiet neighborhood just south of Highway 83 and a stone throw from the Rio Grande is a drainage pipe. It is meant to keep water off the streets and out of people TMs homes, but human smugglers have found another use for the system.
"When they (Border Patrol) brought it up, I had to get them to identify the location and address, Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal said.
After checking it out I said to myself, ~it is big enough for people to fit through. TM It never dawned on us that they would use it for that. People who are looking to access our country are getting creative and this is just another way they're doing it," he said.
Villarreal said, while they wanted to help out border patrol, the request came with concern.
"My first impression was, 'do we really have to cover it?' Covering drainages is not a favorite thing of ours because it can be stopped up and things can get in the way, Villarreal said. It won TMt allow the water to go where it should be and that's out of the neighborhood." The grate has only been up for a few weeks and debris has already accumulated in its path.
"We're not excited about having it there, but it has to be there, Villarreal explained. We're going to try our best---it's extra work for public works to make sure it's clean, but we're keeping this neighborhood as safe as possible."