El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents rescued a migrant who was abandoned by human smugglers for eight days. The smugglers left the migrant for dead when he could not keep up with the group.
Mexican consular officials notified El Centro Sector Border Foreign Operations Branch officials on March 12 of a call reporting a missing migrant. The caller reportedly told Mexican officials he entered the U.S. illegally with a group and that one member was abandoned after he fell behind, according to information obtained from El Centro Sector Border Patrol officials.
The caller told officials the lost man was diabetic and had a heart condition. He said the man was left near the international boundary in the mountainous region south of Ocotillo, California, on March 7.
Border Patrol officials immediately launched a search and rescue operation to attempt to locate the man. Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) and the Mountain Disrupt Unit (MDU) teams joined in the search mission.
The search effort dragged on for days as agents were unable to locate the missing migrant. On the morning of March 15, MDU agents located a lost migrant who was in need of medical attention. The agents identified the man, a Mexican national, as the migrant reported missing since March 7.
BORSTAR agents responded to the scene and began to administer medical attention. They called for Emergency Medical Services to provide transportation.
The migrant was not able to walk because of his medical condition. Agents carried the man on their shoulders out of the rugged terrain to Interstate 8 where EMS officials transported him to a local hospital.
After being cleared by doctors, the man will be turned over to Border Patrol agents who will process him for removal under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Trump administration.