Human TraffickingMigrationNews

Deaths highlight dangers of crossing border

The US CBP El Paso Sector is seeing an increase in heat and dehydration injuries and fatalities among migrants attempting to cross the border illegally in the El Paso Sector as temperatures have risen above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the past few days.

During the past weekend, Border Patrol agents here responded to several emergency situations involving individuals suffering from severe heat-related illnesses. Tragically, there have been four deaths due to heat stroke and dehydration during last weekend, underscoring the lethal risks associated with illegal border crossings during extreme weather conditions.

As temperatures soar and summer approaches, the treacherous conditions of the desert are proving increasingly dangerous.

The El Paso Sector Border Patrol is intensifying its efforts to prevent these tragedies through increased patrols and deployment of specialized Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue Teams (BORSTAR). These BORSTAR teams are equipped with advanced technology, including drones and heat-sensing devices, to locate and assist distressed individuals more rapidly.

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony S. Good emphasized the dangers, saying, “The desert environment is extremely unforgiving, especially during the summer months. We urge anyone considering crossing illegally to understand the severe risks involved. Our agents are working tirelessly to save lives. But the best way to stay safe is not to attempt an illegal crossing.”

In Fiscal Year 2024 to date more than 656 humanitarian rescues have been conducted in El Paso Sector. 

The El Paso Sector Border Patrol has also launched the campaign, titled “No Se Arriesgue: Dangers of Crossing the Border” which includes radio and social media messages targeting key regions where illegal crossings are most prevalent. The goal is to inform and deter individuals from making the hazardous journey. The Border Patrol is also collaborating closely with Mexican authorities to address the safety issue from both sides of the border. Combined efforts include sharing intelligence, conducting joint patrols and coordinating rescue operations. This bi-national cooperation is crucial to reduce the risks of injury and the number of fatalities.