Two Members of Migrant Groups Die in Southern Arizona over 3-Day Span

Yuma Rescue
Yuma Sector BP

The Border Patrol in the Yuma Sector made more than 2,700 migrant apprehensions between Friday and Sunday. Agents also responded to five emergency calls ending in two migrant deaths and several serious medical cases. One group crossing numbered nearly 100 in temperatures well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Border Patrol agents scrambled to eight migrant groups ranging in size between 42 and 93. According to a source within Customs and Border Protection, unofficial statistics for August show agents in the Yuma Sector apprehended nearly 17,000 migrants, a 15 percent increase over July.

The increase in migrant traffic in August places Yuma squarely in fourth place among the nine southwest border sectors. According to the source, the sector will trail only El Paso, Del Rio, and the Rio Grande Valley Sectors.

Agents also responded to four 911 calls by migrants in heat-related distress and one who fell from the 30-foot border fence. The first call, received Friday, was relayed by dispatchers in Mexico. Agents were informed by counterparts about migrants lost and in distress south of Yuma, Arizona.

Upon arrival, agents were able to successfully rescue three migrants but rendered aid to a fourth migrant who was unresponsive. The 25-year-old Mexican national died from heat-related causes.

On Saturday, agents responded to another emergency call made by a female who injured herself after falling off a 30-foot wall. The 39-year-old Mexican suffered severe injuries and was ultimately transferred to a Phoenix hospital for advanced care. After locating additional migrants involved in this incident, agents aided an unresponsive 17-year-old female who also was airlifted to Phoenix due to the seriousness of her condition.

Punctuating these incidents, another distress call was received in nearby Welton, Arizona. A man informed dispatchers that he and his cousin were in dire need of help. Agents found the 26-year-old caller and discovered his 21-year-old cousin was in serious condition. Local EMS and a life-flight were summoned. The younger patient succumbed to his heat illness and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Migrant apprehensions in the Yuma Sector have steadily risen during the hottest months of 2021. Between May and August, captures rose from 12,000 to nearly 17,000 in August. Consistently, temperatures will peak above 100 degrees on most days between May and September.

Randy Clark
 is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

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