Border Patrol Providing Lifelines For Undocumented Immigrants
Aug 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM CST
Aug 6, 2012
The heat is taking its toll on people hoping to make it across the border and deep into the United States. Recently the Webb County Medical Examiner told us the heat was claiming more lives this year. And today our Annette Garcia spoke with U.S. Border patrol about making an effort to prevent the deaths. “When you push the button as soon as that it activates a sensor. Our agents will know what area that is at and respond.” Agent Efrain Perez describing tall -tower like beacons placed across south Texas by border patrol to give those making a potentially deadly trip a chance to call for help. “There is a lot of heat related incidents that we're encountering.” Extreme heat is causing the death of dozens of undocumented immigrants who don't make it to a better life in the United States. Border Patrol says the heat is just one of the reasons 65 people died in the Laredo Sector last year. Those near their death are taking advantage of lifelines like this one. “We put them strategically in areas where there is a high level of crossings in ranches where heat affects individuals.” It's just one of the newer efforts being made by Border Patrol urging immigrants not to take that first step across. The federal agency even recently kicked off a campaign called "No Mas Cruces En La Frontera". Public service announcements are running on TV stations throughout Mexico. “The danger starts when they leave their homes where ever they’re coming from. And then you have the river to worry about and now the heat.” But it's been a challenge to get anyone to listen. Laredo sector border patrol rescued about 200 people last year. They’re only ten away from hitting that number this year. A sign people aren't giving up on trying. Currently there are four rescue beacons in the Laredo Sector all in highly trafficked areas. Two on ranches in Hebbronville and two in far northwest Webb County. Border patrol currently has 90 EMS certified agents working on rescue teams and an additional eight are going through a paramedic’s class to treat crossers in need of help.