US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Border Patrol Agents Search for Immigrants in Storm Drains

Release Date: 
November 1, 2017

On October 30, 2017, Border Patrol Agents were told that five subjects had illegally crossed into the United States, and entered a storm drain near the downtown El Paso area. The agents activated the Border Patrol’s Confined Space Entry Team (CSET) to begin a search for the individuals while agents above ground began a search of nearby exit points. Later that day,  the Bike Patrol team located three persons who had just exited the storm-drain near Los Angeles Drive and Main Street.

After interviewing the subjects, agents discovered two of the subjects had fallen behind and were possibly still in the drain system. They learned that a female in that group was possibly injured.

The El Paso Fire Department (EPFD) was called to assist in the search for the two outstanding subjects. Joining EPFD was a team from the Border Patrol’s Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) Unit. An exhaustive search was conducted, but the subjects were not initially located.

Yesterday morning, Border Patrol Agents heard voices coming from a storm-drain, and were able to move the drain and pull out a male subject. The man told agents that his wife was still in the drain, and unable to walk due to an injury she sustained. He suspected it might be a broken ankle. Agents went back in the drain and located the injured female, An agent carried her out on his back while crawling out of the drainage system.

Both subjects were determined to be in need of medical assistance and were taken to a nearby hospital.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021