TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents working along Arizona’s border with Mexico stepped up their campaign in fiscal year 2015 to save distressed migrants while giving them options to call for help. As a result, agents report finding fewer deceased migrants as calls for assistance hit new highs.
Statistics show that Border Patrol agents located 68 deceased suspected migrants in Arizona during fiscal 2015, compared to 110 in FY14. That is a drop of 38 percent and includes Tucson and Yuma Border Patrol Sectors.
Rescues and assistance to migrants in distress tell the larger story, since the Joint Intelligence and Operations Center began tracking and coordinating responses to 911 calls from migrants in March 2015 -- up to seven calls per day in the summer. The JIOC serves as an emergency coordinator to assist 911 dispatchers from Pima, Maricopa, Pinal, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties. The Center then facilitates a Customs and Border Protection response.
In all, Border Patrol and JIOC agents assisted with 467 calls between March and September 2015. There were a total of 804 people rescued between Tucson and Yuma Sectors for FY15.
Migrants are being encouraged to call 911 before their situation becomes an emergency. The sooner they call, the faster CBP resources can respond. Dehydration, injury or hypothermia can quickly become critical without proper care.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.