Over the course of a two-week period in late June, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents rescued 11 illegal immigrants on eight different occasions who were either abandoned by a smuggler or became lost after illegally crossing the U.S/Mexico border.
The first incident occurred on June 19 when Carrizo Springs Border Patrol agents rescued a 20-year-old man from Mexico who was lost in the brush after crossing the Rio Grande River illegally. Agents from the Carrizo Springs Station received a 911 call from that person who was lost and seeking rescue. Agents knew it could be a race against time to reach him due to the extreme midday heat. At approximately 11:55 a.m., agents located the subject, who was suffering from dehydration, and arranged for him to be transported by EMS to the Dimmit County Regional Hospital for treatment.
“These rescues demonstrate the perils of crossing into the United States illegally,” Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak stated in response to the rescues. “The unforgiving terrain of the southwest border combined with dangerous heat index levels can overwhelm a person quickly.” “I am grateful for the quick response by our agents who undoubtedly prevented serious injury and loss of life.”
Border Patrol agents are trained to identify the signs of heat-related illness and provide emergency first-aid to those suffering from exposure. For fiscal year 2017, which began Oct. 1-to-date, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents have rescued 67 persons in 39 separate incidents ranging from water-related rescues to people lost in the isolated South Texas brush country.
Over the years, smugglers and human traffickers have moved persons into more remote and hazardous terrain for the purpose of smuggling them into the United States. Many of the persons rescued by Border Patrol agents reveal they were abandoned by their smuggler to their own demise after they became exhausted and unable to continue walking. Unfortunately, through this illicit activity, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents encounter many border deaths. For fiscal year 2017 to date, the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector has registered 10 border deaths.
The Del Rio Sector will continue to warn against the dangers of people crossing illegally into the United States in dangerous environmental conditions. The Border Patrol’s “Border Safety Initiative” is a humanitarian, bi-national strategy designed to reduce immigrant deaths, educate and inform potential migrants of the dangers and hazards of crossing the border illegally, and to respond to those who are in life-threatening situations.
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.