A Yuma Sector Border Patrol agent rescued a Honduran migrant who nearly drowned while attempting to cross an irrigation canal in the Arizona desert.
An agent assigned to the Yuma Border Patrol Station encountered a migrant on August 3 attempting to illegally enter the U.S. by swimming across the Salinity Canal, according to Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents. The agent reported the migrant as having difficulty remaining afloat.
#YumaSector #USBP agents rescue an illegal alien from Honduras who was struggling to stay afloat in a waterway Saturday morning. @CBP #SouthwestBorder Details: https://t.co/Iw9bN67VHv pic.twitter.com/57QFkBKLPB
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) August 6, 2019
The agent quickly responded to the life-threatening situation and deployed a rescue bag. The migrant grabbed the bag and the agents pulled him to safety.
Once on the bank of the canal, the migrant collapsed from exhaustion. The agent contacted emergency medical services to provide assistance to the distressed migrant after he began coughing up water.
An ambulance crew transported the migrant to the Yuma Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment. Doctors cleared the man who agents identified as a Honduran national who illegally entered the U.S. Following his release on Sunday, agents transported him to the Yuma Station for processing.
“Illegal aliens routinely attempt to further illegal entry into the United States using the Salinity Canal; oftentimes, not understanding the associated dangers, water temperature, depth, water current, and growth on the canal walls hindering exit,” Yuma Sector officials said in a written statement. “Yuma Sector Marine Operations agents are trained in a variety of water rescue techniques, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, and Basic Lifesaving Skills to rescue individuals who choose to evade apprehension via canals and rivers risking their lives, and the lives of agents, in doing so.”
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on July 30 that Border Patrol agents carried out more than 4,000 rescues so far this year, Breitbart Texas reported.
“This is who the men and women of the United States Customs and Border Protection are,” the commissioner testified. “They risk their lives every single day to help and protect whoever is in distress.”
“Smugglers openly advertise about a safe and legal journey to the United States,” he explained. “They tell migrants and their families that there is a policy in the United States that anyone who arrives with a child will not be deported. And our laws support that perception.”
He said that if there is not a meaningful change in U.S. laws, detention facilities will continue to be overwhelmed while Border Patrol agents are diverted from their primary mission. “Smugglers, like the one who threw the paraplegic man in the Rio Grande, they will continue to profit,” he said.
“Congress must acknowledge this is a crisis and pass meaningful legislation to address the current legal framework,” Morgan concluded in his opening statement to the committee.