Three Deaths in 24-Hour Period Underscore Risks of Illegal Entry

Illegal border crossers continue to learn the hard way they can expect no mercy from human traffickers or the South Texas sun, News Radio 1200 WOAI reprorts.

Earlier this week, U.S.  Customs and Border Protection reported the deaths of three people, all  suspected illegal immigrants, in a 24-hour period.         

Across much of the Rio Grande Valley over the past two  weeks temperatures have exceeded 100 degrees, with some ranchers  reporting their thermometers reaching 107 degrees.

Raul Ortiz, deputy chief  for the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector, says the number of  fatalities among immigration lawbreakers has dropped in his area  compared to last year, but that's just half the story.

"Last year we had 67  deaths at this same time. This year we're looking at about 59 deaths;  our rescues are up quite a bit," Ortiz says. 

The rescue figures speak  for themselves. 

According to Ortiz, in 2017 law officers saved 670  illegal immigrants in distress. So far this year, the figure is 981.

Ortiz says smugglers and  the cartels that often manage them, are increasingly desperate to profit  from criminal cross-border transport, no matter the human cost.

"They have no regard for  their safety or their well-being," he says, "and we want to do just the  opposite. We want to get them out of harm's way whenever we possibly  can."

 Ortiz says the public can  support the life-saving efforts of law enforcement agencies across  South Texas by alerting authorities any time conditions appear out of  the ordinary. 

"Don't be afraid to push a  rescue beacon, don't be afraid to call 9-1-1, or don't be afraid to  walk out to a major road," Ortiz says. "Chances are, you're going to  experience law enforcement out there who are out on patrol."

IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES

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