EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Across the nation, agents with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection are seeing an increase in migrant rescues. In El Paso, it’s no different.
Migrants stuck in an El Paso canal, and migrants abandoned in the desert in triple-degree heat, were all rescued on Wednesday by El Paso sector Border Patrol agents.
One migrant in the American Canal was swept away in the current, unable to swim against the current while another clung to a ladder. Agents rescued the two and say they had no injuries and didn’t want more medical attention. They were sent back to Mexico under Title 42.
According to CBP, the water in the canal will rise into summer and anticipate having to rescue more migrants in the coming months.
“We’ve had water in the canal for about a week now and we’ve performed at least three different rescues in the El Paso sector canal,” said Carlos Rivera, a CBP spokesman. “We’ve performed about 125 rescues throughout the whole sector since the fiscal year began.”
Rivera told KTSM 9 News that all areas of the border pose different dangers to migrants trying to cross, many unaware of what crossing in a certain area entails.
“The canal, I can tell, is one of the risks that the criminal organizations operating in our sector do not tell them, do not tell the migrants that this is one of the risks that they will be facing,” said Rivera.
Also on Wednesday, agents went to the aid of two migrants in the desert west of the Santa Teresa port of entry.
“It was two female subjects. I believe that they were sisters,” said Rivera.
According to Rivera one of the migrants was unresponsive and had to be airlifted.
“The criminal organizations here, they don’t care for the migrants lives — they will abandon and leave behind any migrant that can’t keep up with the rest of the group,” he said.
Other types of rescues that are common include migrants needing to be rescued from the top of the border fence.
According to CBP, 7,084 rescues were made nationwide in May 2021, with 35 percent more people rescued so far in the fiscal year 2021 than in all of 2020.