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Border Patrol Agents Rescue Salvadoran Child on Verge of Death Due to Severe Dehydration

Release Date: 
May 2, 2014

DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued a Salvadoran child, in severe distress Thursday, after finding him among a group of undocumented immigrants, in a remote area.

Thursday morning, agents working on the Carrizo Springs Station Horse Patrol Unit encountered a group of 13 undocumented immigrants. Following the apprehension, agents noticed that a 16-month-old baby, accompanied by his mother, was having trouble breathing and subsequently became unresponsive. Agents immediately notified their supervisors that medical attention was needed, and Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue agents were activated. Upon arrival, BORSTAR agents administered medical aid and determined that due to the infant’s delicate condition and the remote location, it would be necessary to transport the infant to a medical facility in San Antonio via helicopter.Del Rio Sector BORSTAR agents practice medical air evacuation procedures during a recent training session.

The baby was diagnosed with severe dehydration and is currently being treated at a hospital in San Antonio and is in stable condition.

The rapid decision of the agents on scene prevented the infant’s condition from deteriorating even further, and potentially saved his life.

“Our agents on the rescue team and at the stations have rescued more children over the last month than I’ve seen in 15 years,” said BORSTAR Commander Timothy Hay. “When agents found the 18-year-old mother with her baby, he was having difficulty breathing and was unresponsive. The baby was very lucky that his mother was apprehended and that we had medically trained agents in the area. If any one of these things hadn’t happened when they did, this infant wouldn’t have had a chance at surviving this dangerous journey.”

It would have taken an ambulance a minimum of 90 minutes to arrive at the location of the distressed baby. Smugglers attempt to cross groups in areas that are extremely remote and uninhabited in hopes of avoiding apprehension and detection by U.S. Border Patrol. Unfortunately, they do not take into consideration the ages and abilities of the members of the groups they are smuggling. There is a complete disregard for safety and human life by the transnational criminal organizations responsible for trafficking undocumented aliens along the southern border. 

Over the last several weeks, agents of Del Rio Sector have been involved in numerous rescues. On April 28, BORSTAR agents successfully rescued a group of 10 undocumented immigrants stranded on an island in the Rio Grande River and incapable of making it to the bank of the river on either side, due to the strong current. During the month of April, in separate incidents: agents rescued a five-year-old Honduran girl from drowning, a 15-year-old Honduran boy, a 35-year-old Salvadoran mother with her 13-year-old daughter who was struggling to stay afloat, and a 28-year-old Salvadoran man who was stranded in the Rio Grande.

“My fear is that mothers in Mexico and Central America aren’t being educated about the dangers of crossing the border illegally and that there may come a time when our agents are not close enough to respond and save them or their children,” expressed Commander Hay.

Apprehensions of women and children have increased exponentially on the South Texas Corridor, especially those from Central American countries. The South Texas Corridor has apprehended more than 167,000 undocumented aliens in the last six months.

“I am, and remain extremely proud of all of my agents working tirelessly to ensure the safety of our communities, but also the safety of those undocumented immigrants that we encounter. I am very glad the child is in stable condition, but this incident could have been prevented,” said Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch.

“Del Rio Sector will continue to remain vigilant to circumstances like this, but I want to remind the public that crossing the river illegally is a precarious and potentially life-threatening journey, that does not always have a happy ending.”

Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is an integral part of the South Texas Safety Initiative and the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017