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Immigrant suffering from exposure rescued over the weekend in Rio Grande Valley after using WhatsApp

Release Date: 
September 19, 2016

EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector rescued a lost immigrant over the weekend after he began to suffer from dehydration.

Early Saturday afternoon, a Salvadoran national was able to contact his sister via WhatsApp, a smartphone application.  Although the immigrant did not have cell service, he was able to use WhatsApp to make contact and provide his location. The application allowed the distressed immigrant to send pictures to better identify his whereabouts.

His sister was able to contact a Human Rights Coalition representative who then contacted the South Texas Human Rights Center (STHRC).  It was the STHRC that notified the Rio Grande Valley Sector Missing Migrant Initiative Office.  Agents from the Falfurrias Border Patrol Station were rapidly deployed and successfully located the subject.  Medical attention was offered to the subject but he declined.    

Since October 1, 2015 to present, RGV Sector has seen an 88% increase in rescues to almost 1,300 in comparison to the same period last year.

The Missing Migrant Initiative is a proactive program currently being developed throughout the South Texas Corridor.  The main goal of this initiative is to adopt and establish preventative procedures in order to preserve human life. 

Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017