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Tucson Border Patrol Establishes Missing Migrant Team

Release Date: 
March 16, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol has a team comprised of agents who coordinate with multiple government and non-governmental entities, and serves as a point of integration for third party reports of migrants missing or deceased.

Migrants crossing the border illegally often contact family or friends instead of calling 911, Border Patrol or other local authorities for assistance. Families then contact multiple government and non-government entities to report the situation. This causes delays in the sharing of information and coordinating search, rescue and recovery operations.

This team of agents serves as a consistent point of contact for the Border Patrol and increases the likelihood of a successful rescue, recovery or identification of remains. Agents analyze and crosscheck information reported from third party groups, such as non-governmental organizations, community members, county medical examiners and foreign consulates to ensure rapid dissemination to appropriate agencies. 

Since June 2015, this team has helped in identifying 94 medical legal cases within Pima and Maricopa Counties, thus saving time with the identification process and prompt repatriation of remains by foreign consulates. The team also assisted in 46 missing migrant reports from non-government organizations and foreign consulates. Of those, 18 have been resolved. 

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017