Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents carried out a series of migrant rescues as temperatures rise in the Arizona desert. The operations found 12 migrants who became lost.
Agents assigned to the Ajo Station responded to a pair of rescue beacons over the weekend. The beacons were placed in the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge in an attempt to reduce the number of migrant deaths in the sweltering heat of the desert climate. The agents found four Honduran nationals and one Mexican national who had illegally entered the United States, according to information obtained from Tucson Sector Border Patrol Officials.
The agents conducted an initial medical screening of the migrants and found all five to be in good health.
Late Saturday afternoon, Casa Grande Station agents teamed up with Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents to respond to three 911 calls received from migrants lost in the desert, officials stated.
Extensive search operations led to the rescue of all three of the callers. Agents also found several additional migrants who traveled with the callers, according to the press release. Medical screening determined that one of the migrants, an adult male, required medical attention. The agents transported the man to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Immigration interviews determined that the five migrants were from Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.
Agents assigned to the Three Points Station responded to two additional emergency calls on Sunday. The callers told dispatchers they had been lost in the desert for several days after illegally crossing the border. A search operation led to the rescue of the migrants. The agents reported the migrants were in good health aside from being tired and frightened, officials said.
Border Patrol agents transported all of the migrants to their respective stations for processing, medical screening, and biometric background investigations. The background investigation includes screening for previous criminal history, immigration violations, or gang affiliation. The migrants will be processed for immigration violations under Tucson Sector guidelines.
More than 30 migrants have died so far this year after illegally crossing the border into the Arizona desert, according to the International Organization for Migrants’ Missing Migrants Project — at least 79 died along the entire southwest U.S.-Mexico Border.