A body was recovered after two men and several other people tried to swim around a recently built border wall near the US-Mexico border in San Diego, officials said Thursday.
San Diego County sheriff’s officials said in a statement that the three men who died were trying to swim across the San Ysidro port of entry, the border crossing nearest to San Diego, late Wednesday.
A border patrol vehicle had stopped a vehicle and discovered the bodies but authorities did not immediately say how they were killed or how far they had wandered from the US-Mexico border.
At a hearing on Wednesday, congressional Republicans sought to use the incident to highlight Trump’s border wall, which is opposed by many Democrats.
Democrats blocked the House vote on the bill, but Republicans approved it in the Senate with a mostly party-line vote. The bill includes $1.6bn for border security, but not the southern barrier, and Trump threatened to veto it.
Congress also approved another $1.375bn on Wednesday to finance border barriers on the US-Mexico border, about half of the money Trump sought.
The US attorney for the Southern District of California, Tony Ortega, confirmed in a news release that the three men found were Mexican nationals but said he could not discuss the cause of death or whether they were attempting to enter the US illegally. Ortega also said in an email that there were no laws or court orders preventing immigrants from entering the country without notice.
The first body was found Wednesday afternoon in a brushy area and one of the men was found dead around 7pm. The third body was found around 11pm.