Deming, N.M. – Efforts by Customs and Border Protection assets helped save the lives of two distressed undocumented immigrants east of the Florida Mountains, near Deming, New Mexico on Monday.
“Yesterday’s rescue was a textbook example of multiple CBP assets working for a common cause—the protection of welfare and life,” according to Acting Patrol Agent in Charge of the Las Cruces, N.M. USBP Station, Ronald LeBlanc.
On Monday afternoon, the Las Cruces Border Patrol Station was notified by Luna County, N.M Central Dispatch about an emergency distress call received from two people who said they were lost and in need of medical assistance. The Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of their location were received by the Luna County Dispatch from a signal off their cell phone.
Agents from New Mexico USBP stations in Las Cruces, Santa Teresa and Deming were dispatched to an area southwest of the I-10 traffic checkpoint to stage the rescue attempt. In addition, an Office of Air and Marine helicopter, the Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) Team and all terrain vehicles from the Deming USBP station also responded to aid in the search.
After a three-hour search of surrounding areas, two Mexican National males, ages 29 and 51, were located in an area between Deming and Las Cruces, N.M. known as “Rattlesnake Peak.” They became lost and fell victim to the harsh desert climate and terrain. An EMT-certified Border Patrol Agent was available to provide assistance to the two men until such time they could be transported to a safe location. The subjects were subsequently transported by Luna County Emergency Medical Services to the Mimbres Hospital in Deming, N.M. Upon last report, they were receiving medical treatment for severe dehydration.
Traversing the remote Southern border areas can present grave danger to illegal migrants who are unaware of the extreme heat posed by summer temperatures. Additionally, they may not be prepared or equipped with sufficient food and water for the length of time required to reach an ultimate destination, which could be several days.
Rescues and deaths of migrants encountered along the border region by the El Paso Sector Border Patrol have significantly dropped over the past five years. Rescues fell considerably from 190 incidents (involving 504 people) in fiscal year 2006, to just 13 incidents (involving 20 people) in fiscal year 2011.
This latest incident is still another example of how U.S. Border Patrol and other CBP elements remain constantly vigilant to situations that require action to save lives along the border. With temperatures soaring above 95 degrees Fahrenheit during this time of year, these conditions present a clear and present danger to migrants who are duped by human smugglers.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.