Tucson, Ariz. - A severe weather system over the weekend caused an increase in the number of rescue operations led by the Border Patrol along the U.S./Mexico Border.
In five separate incidents, agents rescued and treated a total of eight illegal aliens suffering from dehydration and hypothermia. The aliens were then transported to the nearest hospital for further treatment. The hospitalized aliens were eventually released back into the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol for further processing.
Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents were among those who responded to a variety of citizen's reports, 911 calls and requests from other agencies. All but one of the rescue operations were carried out in the west desert area frequently used by alien smuggling organizations attempting to avoid detection.
"Tucson Sector BORSTAR agents are highly trained in search and rescue, and to assist in natural disaster emergencies within the state of Arizona and beyond," said Roy A. Hoats, assistant chief patrol agent in charge of the Tucson Sector. "They are an invaluable resource available to all law enforcement agencies and the general public. BORSTAR skill-sets, coupled with Office of Air and Marine resources, typically save hundreds of lives each year."
In the first three months of this fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, 2009, the Tucson Sector performed 36 rescue operations. The Border Patrol is committed to stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into the country but also stands ready to assist anyone in need of medical attention. While the hard work and commitment of agents usually lead to successful rescues, unfortunately, remote areas and extreme weather conditions can sometimes create a deadly combination.