Advocates on Saturday urged Congress to pass immigration reforms after at least nine migrants drowned while attempting to cross the swollen Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas earlier this week.\r\n\r\n\u0022Our border policies continue to kill.\u0022\r\n\r\nAccording to reports, 37 migrants were rescued while trying to ford the surging river near Eagle Pass on Thursday, while eight other people are missing. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson Rick Pauza said in a statement that federal and local authorities continue to search for possible survivors.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nCBP said that U.S. authorities arrested 53 migrants at the scene, while their Mexican counterparts apprehended 39 others.\r\n\r\n\u0022My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones during their tragic journey to the U.S.,\u0022 tweeted Rep. Jesús \u0022Chuy\u0022 Garcia (D-Ill.) in response to the drownings. \u0022This is an unfortunate reminder that we must prioritize our immigration laws along with the socio-economic policies that fuel displacement and migration.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIeva Jusionyte, a professor of international security and anthropology at Brown University\u0026#039;s Watson Institute, wrote that \u0022our border policies continue to kill.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Hardened borders are deadly,\u0022 concurred Ruthie Epstein, a former deputy director of immigration policy at the ACLU.\r\n\r\nThe National Immigration Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, tweeted, \u0022This heartbreaking tragedy highlights once again the need for Congress to act and pass immigration reforms.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Congress must act quickly to pass solutions that bring compassion and security to our border, in the names of human lives and human dignity,\u0022 the group added.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nAccording to The New York Times:\r\n\r\n\r\nThe fire chief in Eagle Pass, Manuel Mello, said fierce currents had swept a number of migrants downstream as they attempted to cross about a mile south of the international bridge. Drownings have become an everyday occurrence in that section of the border, typically as many as one a day, and sometimes more, said the chief, a 58-year-old Eagle Pass native.\r\n\r\nAbout two months ago, he said, 12 bodies were recovered on the same day—six by the Mexican authorities and six by U.S. rescue officials—after another large group tried to cross into the United States.\r\n\r\nMore recently, two boys, one 3 years old and the other 3 months old, slipped from the grasp of an uncle as they were attempting to cross, he said. The older boy drowned, and the infant was rushed to a San Antonio hospital in critical condition.\r\n\r\n\r\nBelying Republican claims that President Joe Biden\u0026#039;s \u0022open border\u0022 policies are to blame for tragedies like the Eagle Pass drownings and the fatal asphyxiation of 53 people in a tractor-trailer near San Antonio in June, a Reuters investigation published earlier this year noted that \u0022migrants have increasingly turned to riskier methods of entering the U.S. as enforcement policies along the border have strengthened.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAccording to the Reuters report, there have been more than 1,000 border fatalities during Biden\u0026#039;s tenure, both on land and in the river.\r\n\r\n\u0022The Rio Grande is treacherous unless you know the safe crossing points,\u0022 said Mondoweiss editor James North. \u0022Migrants should be able to cross at ports of entry and request asylum.\u0022\r\n\r\nAaron Reichlin-Melnick, director of policy at the advocacy group American Immigration Council, noted that \u0022migrants who try to go to the Eagle Pass port of entry and seek asylum have been completely turned away since March 2020, and largely turned away since April 2018.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022With the ports of entry shut except in limited circumstances, desperate people feel like they have no other options,\u0022 he added.\r\n\r\nIn May, a federal judge issued an injunction blocking the Biden administration from lifting Title 42, a public health order first invoked during the Trump administration and used by both presidents to deport around two million asylum-seekers under the pretext of the Covid-19 pandemic.