El Paso, TX. - U.S. Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Ysleta Border Patrol Station conducted a successful swift-water rescue Saturday night in an incident that nearly claimed the life of one migrant in the American Canal.
In the late evening hours on August 11, 2012, U.S. Border Patrol agents observed several subjects attempting to make an illegal entry inside the American Canal west of the Ysleta, Texas Port of Entry in El Paso, Texas. Agents watched as one subject lost his footing and fell into the swift-moving water of the canal. Seeing the man was in distress and having difficulty staying above water, agents immediately deployed water-rescue equipment. Subsequently, he was safely extracted from the canal.
The 30-year-old subject was then evaluated by El Paso Fire Department personnel, who arrived at the scene and was determined to be in stable condition. The subject declined medical treatment and was transported to the Ysleta Border Patrol Station for processing.
Rescues and deaths of migrants encountered along the border region by the El Paso Sector Border Patrol have significantly dropped over the past five years. Over the past five years, rescues have fallen considerably from 190 incidents involving 504 people in FY 2006, to just 13 incidents involving 20 people in FY 2011.
This latest incident is one more example of how U.S. Border Patrol and other CBP elements remain constantly vigilant to situations that require action to save lives along the border. The summer waterways always present a clear and present danger to migrants in and around waterways who are duped by human smugglers into thinking that currents of the canals are safe to traverse.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.