Four Migrant Rescue Ops in One Day in California Mountains near Border

BORSTAR EMT agents medically evaluated and treated the four subjects, who were out of water (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents carried out four separate rescue operations during an 18-hour period last week. The operations resulted in the rescue of seven illegal aliens in distress in the Jacumba Wilderness Region in Southern California.

El Centro Sector Communications Dispatch operators received information Monday afternoon from California Highway Patrol officials regarding a distress call from a person who illegally crossed the Mexican border into California about 23 miles west of Calexico. Dispatchers notified Border Patrol agents patrolling in the area who began a search and rescue operation, according to information obtained from El Centro Sector Border Patrol officials.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations helicopter aircrew joined in the search and located the missing migrant under a tree in the median of the interstate highway. An aircrew member provided the 28-year-old Mexican national with water until Border Patrol agents arrived and took him into custody.

The agents determined the man to be suffering from heat-related stress and coordinated EMS transportation to a nearby hospital. Doctors treated the man and released him to Border Patrol agents a few hours later. Border Patrol agents returned the man to a processing facility and expelled him from the U.S. under Title 42 coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At about 1:50 a.m. on Tuesday morning, El Centro Sector agents received word about another lost migrant in the same area west of Calexico. The migrants said he and a fellow traveler were lost and out of water. Agents teamed up with BORSTAR EMTs and a Search and Rescue K-9 to begin the search operation.

The BORSTAR EMTs located the two lost migrants at about 6:05 a.m. and provided weather. Following a medical screening and criminal background check, the agents expelled the two Mexican nationals under Title 42 authority.

Another search and rescue overlapped the second one when El Centro Sector Border Intelligence Center operators received information from an NGO about a group of four lost migrants in the mountainous region near Ocotillo. The organization reported the migrants were without water. San Diego Sector agents responded to assist the El Centro agents already engaged in the previous search.

At about 8:40 a.m. BORSTAR agents located the four lost migrants and evaluated them medically. The agents provided water and expelled the four Mexican nationals under Title 42 authority.

On Tuesday afternoon, El Centro officials received another call. A man reported his brother to be lost in the mountains south of Ocotillo. Using a photo sent via phone from the lost migrant, BORSTAR agents and other agents patrolling the area began a search. The agents requested the man to call his brother back and ask him to call 911 to dispatchers could obtained GPS coordinates.

About two hours later, the BORSTAR agents located the lost man traveling with a group of eight others. He told the agents he had been without food or water for several days and his legs were cramping. He claimed he could not walk any further, officials reported. The BORSTAR agents persevered through the 110-degree heat and assisted the man down the mountainous terrain.

At the bottom of the mountain, BORSTAR and EMTs evaluated the man for dehydration. He claimed to be feeling better and declined further medical treatment, officials said. The man and his eight companions, all Mexican nationals, were processed and expelled back to their home country.

“Saving lives takes teamwork. Our local and federal partners are crucial assets during Border Patrol rescues, and continue to play a major role in these life-saving efforts,” El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino said in a written statement. “Temperatures are expected to reach 116 degrees in Imperial County this week, making crossing illegally more dangerous than ever.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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