Bi-National Search Leads to Migrants Lost in California Border Wilderness

Border Patrol agents rescue a Mexican man suffering heat stroke in the Jacumba Mountains of Southern California. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector)
File Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Centro Sector

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents rescued four lost migrants on Tuesday in a wilderness area near Ocotillo, California. Mexican officials notified the sector’s Foreign Operations Branch to request assistance in finding the lost migrants.

Mexican officials notified the El Centro Sector Foreign Operations Branch with information about a group of four migrants who became lost shortly after midnight on May 4, according to information obtained from Border Patrol officials. The lost migrants called and said the group became lost in the Jacumba Wilderness region near the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Border Patrol agents assigned to the sector’s Mountain Disrupt Unit immediately responded to the area and conducted a search and rescue operation. In less than two hours from the distress call, agents found the lost migrants.

The agents conducted a welfare check and determined the migrants needed no medical assistance. An immigration interview identified all four as Mexican nationals.

The agents transported the four migrants to the El Centro Processing Center where they were expelled to Mexico under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Thanks to Mexican officials and our agents, this rescue effort was successful & saved 4 lives,” El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino tweeted.

San Diego Sector agents conducted a similar search and rescue operation a few days earlier. That effort led to the rescue of a group of five migrants.

At about 3 p.m. on April 29, the San Diego Sector Foreign Operations Branch received information from Mexican officials reporting a group of lost migrants near Otay Mountain. The migrants reported they were without food and water and their cell phone was down to three percent battery.

Due to the “unseasonably warm and dry conditions” in the area, Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue agents quickly mounted a search effort. Using the last known GPS coordinates, BORSTAR agents quickly located the group and provided medical evaluation.

After determining all were in good health, the agents identified the five migrants as Guatemalan nationals illegally present in the United States. The migrants told the agent they became lost after hiking for hours and exhausted their food and water before calling for help.

The agents transported the five migrants to a nearby processing center.

“As smugglers become more callous about the welfare of the people they smuggle, the need for our rescue capabilities has increased,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a written statement.  “Thankfully, our agents continually rise to the occasion.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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