The approaching summer heat in South Texas is causing an increase in demand for Border Patrol search and rescue resources. Agents in the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio Sectors are seeing more situations where migrants are placed in danger by cartel-connected human smugglers.
Brooks County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers contacted Falfurrias Station Border Patrol agents on Friday after they received a 911 call from a migrant who became lost in the brush on a ranch, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from Border Patrol officials. The agents responded to the scene and, with the help of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) helicopter crew, were able to find the lost migrant. The man had collapsed from the heat and lack of water in the dense brush where migrants frequently become lost and die.
Over the weekend, Falfurrias Station Border Patrol agents responded to two additional 911 calls and rescued five additional migrants who were abandoned in the brush by their human smugglers.
“When a smuggler decides to leave someone behind in this hot climate and terrain, they are leaving them die in a harsh and inhumane manner,” Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. said in a written statement. “These rescues are made possible by the coordinated efforts of several law enforcement agencies reacting to a 911 call, but sometimes that call is never made.”
Falfurrias and McAllen agents recovered the remains of migrants who did not survive long enough to be rescued. The Falfurrias agents recovered the remains of a person who was left to die by their smugglers. The McAllen agents located a body on the banks of the Rio Grande River.
Kingsville agents found a woman near death on a ranch near the Sarita Border Patrol Checkpoint on Highway 77. The agents provided emergency medical assistance and transported the Guatemalan woman to the checkpoint for a helicopter airlift to an area hospital.
Del Rio Sector officials said temperatures are rising above 100 degrees on the ranches in their area of responsibility. This is leading to an increase in the number of rescues their agents are attempting to carry out, officials stated.
“Since October 2017 in the Del Rio Sector area, 11 immigrants have lost their lives due to the heat,” Del Rio Sector officials stated. “This is an 83 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Also, agents continue to rescue immigrants in distress, including 22 heat-related incidents this fiscal year.”
As an example, Eagle Pass Station agents received a call from 911 officials about a group of migrants in distress. The agents responded to the scene and found one man, three women, and a juvenile — all from Central America. The agents provided emergency assistance and saved all five migrants from an excruciating death.
“Most people attempting to enter the country illegally are ill-prepared for the rigorous conditions they face,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Extreme heat, treacherous terrain, and human smugglers’ disregard for human life, lead to life-threatening situations.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.