In the past week, the Tucson Sector of Border Patrol has rescued 16 immigrants.
Most of the rescues were in the west desert region between Tucson and Yuma. Customs and Border Protection reports they have transferred resources to that area to help with rescue efforts.
Most of the immigrants were able to call 911 or triggered a rescue beacon that goes directly to Border Patrol. Most of the time, those trying to cross the border illegally try to stay as far away from border patrol agents as possible.
CBP spokesman Christopher Sullivan said an immigrant calling for help will be detailed and processed. The alternative, he said, could be much worse.
“The thing is they are going to live another day, and that’s the important part, is living another day. We don’t want anyone to die, and that’s the number one goal.”
Sullivan said there are 200 certified EMT Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector who are trained to do emergency care for those they encounter struggling with the heat.
“Sometimes they need an IV – fluid replenishment. Sometimes they’ll feel better. Sometimes they need more than that. They need definitive care, and that’s when we send them to the hospital.”
Sullivan said, in an emergency, saving an immigrant’s life is priority No. 1, but once stabilized, they will be detained and processed through the immigration process. If found to be in the country illegally they will either be deported or prosecuted.