EL PASO, Texas – On Monday afternoon, members of the Army National Guard assigned to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with border security were monitoring cameras, when they observed a group of six individuals illegally crossing into the United States just south of Ascarate Park, in southeastern El Paso.
Four individuals climbed over the old wire-mesh fence and entered the American canal. Two human smugglers, who assisted but did not attempt to cross, returned to Mexico. Agents responding to the scene immediately entered the canal and deployed rescue ropes in an attempt to assist a man, woman, and child already in the water.
At first the man refused assistance, indicating that he and his family did not want to turn themselves in, but instead would continue to cross on their own. After the agent pointed out the danger of severe injury or death to the struggling child, the father finally relented and took hold of the rope. Agents then pulled all three out of the canal. The fourth person climbed back out of the canal and returned to Mexico.
Emergency Medical Services arrived and transported the mother and 2-year-old child to University Medical Center for further evaluation. All three will be processed according to Border Patrol procedures.
“This situation could very easily have ended in tragedy,” stated Interim Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez. “When the man refused assistance, he was already struggling to stay on his feet while holding on to the child. These canals are more dangerous than they appear. I am glad everyone involved, both this family and my agents, made it through this ordeal safe and sound.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Call 1-800-635-2509 toll-free to report suspicious activity while remaining anonymous.