Tucson, Ariz. - In five separate incidents in the last 24 hours, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents rescued 30 illegal aliens suffering from varying states of dehydration in the West Desert area of operations. In all incidents, the aliens were apparently abandoned by their guides and left with little or no water.
Casa Grande Station agents and the Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue unit rescued the majority of aliens last night when a helicopter pilot from U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine spotted one group south of Casa Grande, Ariz. Agents responded to the area and located 17 illegal aliens who claimed they had gotten lost after being abandoned by their smuggler. All individuals were medically evaluated and determined to be in good health before being transported to the Casa Grande Station for processing.
Casa Grande agents and the BORSTAR unit rescued eight more illegal aliens yesterday morning in two other incidents. In the first, agents located four illegal aliens in the desert north of Sells, Ariz. One individual was severely dehydrated and had to be transported to an area hospital for treatment. The other three were determined to be in good health and transported to the Casa Grande Station for processing. In the second incident, agents rescued an illegal alien west of Sells.
After receiving a report from the Pima County Sheriff's Office, agents from the Ajo Station located and rescued four illegal aliens east of Ajo, Ariz. Agents certified as emergency medical technicians evaluated the individuals and determined two were in need of advanced medical care. Both were transported to a local hospital for treatment. In addition, agents rescued another illegal alien near the Papago Forward Operating Base and transported him to a local hospital for further medical attention.
Border Patrol agents are usually the first responders in remote areas, often times making the difference between life and death for people in distress. As temperatures rise, individuals attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert face extremely hazardous conditions. Smugglers continue to put lives in danger by leading them through the harsh desert terrain, often abandoning them when they are physically unable to continue. In addition, those who cross illegally face legal and administrative consequences.
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.