This story has the potential to upset people on all sides of the immigration debate.

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Life-saving barrels of drinking water that had been left out in the remote desert are missing.

Some people are going to be upset that migrants might die without water in the extreme heat. Others (you know who you are) are going to be upset to find out water barrels were BEING left out for migrants in the first place.

The barrels, 21 in all, had been set out by the South Texas Human Rights Center in Jim Hogg County.

The barrels had been left in some of the most remote, unforgiving areas of the desert near the border.

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Jim Hogg County is in the far southern part of Texas though, interestingly, it doesn’t share a border with Mexico.

Before reaching Hogg Co., any migrants on foot would have already had to cross twenty miles or more of unforgiving desert terrain. That’s in addition to however far they might have walked to reach the US border.

The barrels are bright blue with the word “AGUA” in big white letters. Of the 21 barrels, 12 have been reported missing.

As for law enforcement in Hogg Co., they seem to be in favor of the water barrels.

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Ruben Garza is an investigator for the county sheriff’s department and he struggled through tears to tell about dead and dying migrants he has found in his three decades on the job.

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About the humanitarian group behind the barrels, Garza says, “Anybody who starts a program to save lives is a champion”.

Here are a few of the top theories about what happened to the missing water barrels.

They could have been destroyed by brush fires.

Hogg County is huge (1,136 square miles) and most of it is wild desert. Fires do occur, sometimes without anyone being aware of them before the die out on their own.

Ruben Garza doesn’t think the barrels were destroyed in a fire…because they haven’t found any melted blue puddles of plastic. He concedes that it’s possible, though.

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Someone might have INTENTIONALLY moved the barrels.

Not everyone agrees with the water being left out for migrants.

It’s possible that someone got rid of the barrels because they see it as “aiding and abetting” criminal behavior (illegal immigration).

Garza says that if it IS discovered that someone’s willfully removing the barrels, that would be a police matter.

Someone might have moved them without knowing what they are for.

Ruben Garza says plenty of people in Jim Hogg County know about the barrels but aren’t sure what they’re for.

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One person told him they thought the water was out there “to attract bees”??

Again, they do have the word “AGUA” on the side in big letters.

One other possibility here is that law-enforcement itself is removing the water.

There have been well-documented cases for years of Border Patrol officers pouring out water left out for migrants, not just in Hogg Co. or even in Texas, but all along the Southwest corridor.

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Yeah, that last one. Keeping water away from people on the verge of dying of thirst seems like a real Abbott move.

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