The ongoing crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico is causing a substantial increase in the number of migrant rescues carried out by Border Patrol agents this year. More than 3,000 rescues have occurred in the current year–many in conditions that put the agents’ lives at risk in the process.
“So far this fiscal year, the men and women of the Border Patrol have done over 3,000 rescues,” U.S. Border Patrol Chief of Law Enforcement Operations Brian Hastings told reporters during a recent press call. “We’ve seen a massive increase in the amount of water-related rescues that are taking place — primarily in Del Rio, RGV, and Laredo’s areas of operation.”
Agents in the Tucson Sector rescued 18 migrants in a search of the mountains in southern Arizona earlier this month, Breitbart News reported. Shortly before that, El Centro Sector agents rescued seven other migrants over the Memorial Day weekend.
On June 5, Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents carried out a rescue of a migrant in distress in the mountains near Sells, Arizona. Officials captured the dramatic rescue on camera as an Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrew provided airlift of the distressed migrant.
On June 5, #AMO agents collaborated with Border Patrol BORSTAR to rescue a migrant in distress near Sells, AZ. AMO agents extracted the man and transferred him to a medical transport helicopter. pic.twitter.com/ElWrrWnHa4
— CBP (@CBP) June 14, 2019
John Sanders, acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, tweeted about several other rescues over the past week. One involved a Border Patrol EMT who rescued a toddler who suffered a massive number of insect bites all over his body.
A Border Patrol EMT treated a small child on the border this week suffering from insect bites that covered his body. Over 1,300 Border Patrol agents are trained EMTs—using their skills to save lives and treat injuries of people they encounter. pic.twitter.com/lrUhjBEoAe
— Acting Comm. John Sanders (@CBPSanders) June 16, 2019
Another involved Rio Grande Valley Sector agents who rescued eight children and ten adults from drowning in the strong currents of the Rio Grande. “Smugglers do not care how dangerous it is,” Sanders wrote. “They guide migrants directly into these life-threatening situations.”
BORSTAR agents rescued 8 children and 10 adults from the strong current of the Rio Grande last week. Smugglers do not care how dangerous it is. They guide migrants directly into these life-threatening situations. I’m proud of the agents involved in this rescue. pic.twitter.com/X3B11eEovz
— Acting Comm. John Sanders (@CBPSanders) June 15, 2019
Earlier this month, Sanders tweeted about the rescues of a paraplegic migrant and a double amputee migrant who cartel smugglers threw into the swiftly moving currents of the Rio Grande. BORSTAR agents responded quickly and saved the lives of both me while putting their own lives at risk, Breitbart News reported.
These BORSTAR agents saw two men struggling to stay afloat and immediately acted—jumping into the river to pull them to safety. I am very proud of the men and women of the Border Patrol, who every day, put themselves in harm’s way to save lives. https://t.co/W1YhtN2okH
— Acting Comm. John Sanders (@CBPSanders) June 3, 2019
In May, another video captured the dramatic rescue of three lost migrants who became stranded on a dangerous Arizona mountainside.
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) May 10, 2018
Border Patrol agents are not always on hand to rescue migrants in distress. So far this calendar year, more than 140 died during or shortly after crossing the Mexican border into the U.S., according to the International Organization for Migrants’ Missing Migrant Project. More than 90 of those occurred along the Texas portion of the border alone. Those numbers are expected to worsen in the summer months.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face