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  3. Along U.S. Borders
  4. Special Operations: Missing Migrant Program

Special Operations: Missing Migrant Program

What is the Missing Migrant Program?

The Missing Migrant Program seeks to prevent the loss of life among the migrant population crossing the border into the United States of America in accordance with the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act. This complex objective is achieved through alliances with police agencies, forensic doctors, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, families and citizens.

If you are seeking information on a migrant who has gone missing while on the dangerous journey to the Southwest Border or may be in CBP custody, you can contact the appropriate consulate in the Foreign Consulate Directories.  The consulate will coordinate with CBP to identify any information that can be shared with you.  Timing on available information varies based on the number of calls and available resources.

In fiscal year 2021, the Border Patrol central office implemented the internal operating procedure for all sectors on the border with Mexico, standardizing reports and statistics. The data is analyzed, helping to establish and take into account historical trends, access to land, elevation of areas, and response time of agents in the field, according to the dynamics of each sector. Through this, maximum effectiveness is achieved in each environment.

The Missing Migrant Program has installed more than 2,700 “911” rescue signs in strategic locations along the border with Mexico. With these signs, a person in distress can dial 911 from their mobile phone, and Border Patrol agents will be able to locate them. More than 170 Rescue Towers have also been installed along the border with Mexico. The rescue towers are operated with a mechanism that does not require the person to have cell phone service, but with just the press of a button, help will be dispatched to the appropriate location for the person's rescue. These towers are located in appropriate places where it will be possible to support the migrant population, who, being deceived by coyotes, cross the border to the United States of America through dangerous areas.

The Stray Migrant Program supports four lines of effort:

  • Prevention
  • Location
  • ID
  • Reunification

MMP in no way limits or detracts from CBP’s commitment to fully enforce U.S. immigration laws.  CBP continues to expeditiously process and remove individuals who arrive at the U.S. border unlawfully and do not have a legal basis to stay.  When an individual is in CBP custody, every effort will be made to promptly transfer, transport, process, release, or repatriate the individual as appropriate according to CBP policies and procedures.  When USBP encounters migrants, to include large groups of people in an area, the number one priority is to ensure their health, safety, and security.

Last Modified: Jun 07, 2024