Crossing the Rio Grande River is a dangerous task that claims the lives of hundreds of immigrants each year. Now, a U.S.-based network is informing prospective illegal immigrants of a class that will prepare them for the crossing and likely inspire more to attempt the journey.
Univision, a Spanish-language network and media company, aired a segment that promoted a swim coach in Mexico and his efforts to teach immigrants how to illegally cross into the U.S. via the Rio Grande River. On the broadcast, Univision anchor Borja Voces introduced Mario Veneiro, the swim coach who is responsible for simulating currents in order to prepare immigrants who will swim across the Rio Grande and enter the U.S.
Crossing the Rio Grande is no easy task, with violent currents and alligators just a couple of the threats that make the journey so dangerous. The Rio Grande claims the lives of hundreds of immigrants each year, including very young children. However, it is the fastest way to cross over into the U.S.
Veneiro was asked by Voces and fellow anchor Carolina Sarassa how he trains immigrants for crossing the river.
“Obviously, when people see the Rio Grande it looks very calm, still waters, like a pool. However, there are many currents which are very dangerous. What do you do so that your pool has turbulent waters like those of the RioGrande and that people truly learn to swim against the current?” asked Sarassa.
Veneiro explained this process to the viewers, saying, “We made a tunnel with some lanes inside the pool, and we placed 10 people with boards on each side, and we created turbulence by splashing water on the person going over the channel.”
Sarassa thanked Veneiro for helping them spread the word about his swim lessons, and also thanked him for aiding the crossing of illegal immigrants into the U.S. “It’s good that you’re telling us about this course, which has gone viral. Fathers, mothers, children who are thinking about coming to the United States and facing those very dangerous waters of [the Rio Grande]. Thank you very much,” said Sarassa.