The lifeless body of Texas National Guard Spc. Bishop Evans was found and identified last Monday after days of searching in Eagle Pass, Texas. Evans went missing while he tried to help two migrants who were drowning as they tried to cross the Rio Grande River from Mexico to the US last Friday. These two migrants were later identified as alleged drug smugglers trying to transport drugs through the Rio Grande.

Evans, a 22-year-old field artilleryman originally from Arlington, Texas, was assigned to Operation Lone Star, the project of Governor Greg Abbott to combat illegal crossings at the US-Mexico border. Before his stint with the Texas National Guard, he was also deployed to Kuwait and Iraq as he was assigned to Operation Spartan Shield.

According to Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber, Evans left his radio, took off his jacket, and immediately jumped in the river. He never saw him come out.

“We are devastated by the loss of a member of our Guard family,” Adjutant General for Texas Maj. Gen. Tom Suelzer said.

“We recognize the selflessness of this heroic Soldier who put his life above others in service to our state and national security. The Texas Military Department sends our deepest condolences to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”

Spc. Bishop Evans in uniform (Bill Melugin). Source:
Spc. Bishop Evans in uniform (Bill Melugin/Twitter)

Abbott also sent his condolences to the family of the fallen artilleryman, saying that he was “heartbroken” to learn about the death.

“Our National Guard soldiers risk their lives every day to serve and protect others, and we are eternally grateful for the way SPC Evans heroically served his state and country,” Abbott said.

“I thank the members of the Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Border Patrol, and local law enforcement for working around the clock to locate this soldier. The Texas Military Department will continue to provide more updates to the public as they become available. I ask that Texans join Cecilia and me in praying for the family and friends of SPC Evans as they grieve this heartbreaking loss,” he continued.

Texas Representative Tony Gonzales also gave his condolences, saying that Evans would “forever be remembered for the bravery and compassion he showed” in saving the lives of the migrants.

The illegal crossing at the border has been ramping up throughout the past months, which keeps border patrol busy on most days. In fact, a video tweeted by Daily Caller field reporter Jorge Ventura had shown several illegal immigrants drowning as they were forcibly swept away by the river. In the tweet, Ventura said, “… between 7,000 to 10,000 migrants are living in Piedras Negras, Mexico, waiting for the end of title 42 to cross illegally into the US.”

Title 42: Coming to an End, Blocked by Temporary Restraining Order

Title 42 was enacted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent the transmission of the virus coming through the northern and southern borders. The law originates from World War II, which stipulates that the US could prohibit in whole or in part “the introduction of persons and property from such countries or places as he shall designate in order to avert such danger.” The law can be enacted when the government determines that a virus or a disease can enter the US.

The Biden administration earlier announced in April that they were ending the implementation of the policy as the COVID-19 virus was under control. The administration decided to keep implementing the policy after the Trump administration under the same rationale that it would help curb the spread of the disease. Critics of the policy said it was an instrument to deny and curb immigration.

“After considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics), the CDC director has determined that an order suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary,” the CDC said in a statement. The policy would supposedly be rescinded on May 23rd.

However, a lawsuit sponsored by 21 Republican states curbed the cancellation of the policy implementation. Through a statement given last Monday, U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays of Louisiana said that he is granting a temporary restraining order to block the supposed end of Title 42.

“The Court discussed the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF No. 24] filed by Plaintiffs. For the reasons stated on the record, the Court announced its intent to grant the motion. The parties will confer regarding the specific terms to be contained in the Temporary Restraining Order and attempt to reach agreement,” the statement said.

A report by TIME stated that 7,100 migrants were coming to the border daily and are planning for 18,000 arrivals daily before the temporary restraining order. A report published by the Center for Immigration Studies stated that there are some 1.06 million CBP encounters at the southwest border in 2022 thus far. It also confirmed what TIME had reported earlier, that 18,000 illegal migrants per day are expected if Title 42 is permanently suspended.