RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Border Patrol officials along with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz addressed the threats migrants and agents face along the most dangerous sector for illegal crossings.
There have been 12 deaths in one week, with nearly 700 rescues in 2019. Border Patrol agents have one clear message for immigrants, “Please don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation.” Says Rodolfo Karisch, Border Patrol Chief RGV Sector
Today a group of reporters walked a mile in triple digit temperatures along the brush, getting a first-hand look on what migrants and agents experience daily.
“Every year, thousands of migrants succumb to the harsh border environment. You started to see what it was like after being out here for about an hour. Increased breathing, the sweating, the need for water. That’s while you were on an established road. What happens if you’re out here in a brush somewhere? You become disorientated; they leave you behind, especially when you don’t have cell phone coverage.” Says Rodolfo Karisch.
According to Karisch, agents make 30 hospital runs a day helping migrants, adding they help a woman give birth every day.
“From mumps to TB you name it, our agents are seeing it. But every day we deal with it. We have three stages of medical screenings right now. Initially in the field when they’re first encountered by Border Patrol agents, when they make it to our facilities where either doctors or nurse practitioners do it, and when they’re ready to get released.”
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is also getting a look at the issues along the border, calling it a crisis. He states that the only way to stop the exploitation of children is for Congress to close the loopholes in the system.
“The fault for that is the U.S. Congress because we have told the traffickers, the human traffickers, we’ve told the drug traffickers, if you bring a child, that child is essentially a get out of jail free card.” Says Senator Ted Cruz.
Border Patrol officials say with the temperature getting hotter, the sector is expected to start seeing more deaths of migrants.
According to Border Patrol officials, in 2014 one percent of all the adult men crossing illegally had a child. That number has now increased by 50 percent.