CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. – On March 25, 2023, multiple concerned citizen calls led Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Champlain Station to conduct a search that led to the rescue of a female citizen of Mexico who had illegally crossed the border into the U.S. from Canada earlier that morning, as area temperatures dipped below freezing to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Border Patrol Agents responded to calls from concerned citizens, who said they observed someone walking in freezing temperatures through fields and ditches near the outskirts of Champlain, New York. Agents conducted a brief search and discovered a woman shuffling shoeless through the snow, using a tree branch for support.
Agents quickly assessed her condition, noting that one of her feet, which bore no sock, was swollen and bloodied. They also observed that she was disoriented and incoherent as they attempted to communicate with her. The Agents radioed for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as they team-carried her to a warm patrol vehicle for safety.
“Temperature extremes and the associated hazards have done practically nothing to deter cross-border human traffic in our area,” said Raymond Bresnahan, Acting Patrol Agent in Charge of the Champlain Station. “Stations in Swanton Sector—Champlain in particular—have responded to historic levels of illicit border crossings that have trended upwards since October 2021.”
Due to the severity of her frostbite injuries, EMS transported the woman to Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital in Plattsburgh, NY. Upon assessment, she was transferred to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington for elevated care.
“The humanity displayed by our dedicated Border Patrol Agents in this and similar rescue efforts during the preceding months of frigid weather in Swanton Sector is truly remarkable,” said Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent Robert N. Garcia. “Our agents’ ongoing engagement of the community in our enduring mission of border security demonstrates a convergence between the dual priorities of national security and public safety,” he added.