On January 27, 2023, at approximately 12:08 a.m., a Border Patrol camera operator spotted a group of five suspected undocumented migrants scaling the International Border Barrier, approximately 3.5 miles west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The camera operator broadcasted the information via radio to Border Patrol agents in the area. An agent arrived on the north side of the secondary barrier a short time later, as some of the migrants were descending from the barrier. The agent observed one migrant, later identified as a male citizen of Mexico, fall off the secondary barrier. The agent immediately requested emergency medical services. The agent apprehended three migrants and one migrant eluded apprehension. Once the three migrants were secured, the agent stayed near the man who fell and waited for EMS to arrive.
San Diego Fire and Rescue EMS arrived at the scene at approximately 12:35 a.m. and provided medical care to the man who had fallen from the barrier, but EMS personnel declared him deceased a short time later.
Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility special agents interviewed the three apprehended migrants. The migrants indicated that they did not know each other and did not know the decedent. The migrants stated that smugglers from Mexico provided them with a makeshift ladder to use to scale the primary and secondary boundary barriers. The migrants explained to the agents that they successfully scaled the primary barrier, and one migrant was able to scale the secondary barrier and elude apprehension. One migrant stated that he observed when the man lost his grip and fell from the secondary barrier to the ground. The other two migrants did not observe the man fall from the barrier. The migrants stated that the agent did not render medical assistance to the decedent, but EMS arrived a short time later and rendered aid.
This incident is being investigated by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office and being reviewed by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General was also notified.