Operation Heat Wave Underway


POSTED: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 5:46pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 7:21am

EDINBURG- The Border Patrol has stepped up search and rescue efforts in South Texas for suspected illegal immigrants who may be overcome by the excessive heat.  There's no doubt it's getting hotter in the Upper Valley, and because the mercury is on the rise, The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector has launched  "Operation Heat Wave".

It's in response to the high number of immigrant deaths and rescues in the past months.

"Its going to involve our BORSTAR team, which is a search and trauma team. it's a group of specialized agents that are trained in a life saving skills providing first response," said Daniel Milian with Border Patrol.

Border Patrol officials say they will also implement their newly group called Mobile Response Team. It's a team where they'll be focusing on the valley's most dangerous corridor which is the ranch country in Brooks County.

"That's where we've seen the majority of our cases with respect of heat exhaustion and dehydration. and so there going to be out there just looking for groups of aliens and anybody that has the probability of you know getting lost out there or suffering from those different elements," said Milian.

Since October, Border Patrol had nearly 120 rescues and 25 immigrant deaths. Rosendo Hinojosa, who's Chief of the Rio Grande Valley Sector, says the agency and Mexico are committed in reducing injuries and deaths and to stop smugglers who put the lives of immigrants at risk.

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