Border patrol agents rescued five migrants who became stranded in the Arizona desert this past weekend as they crossed into the United States illegally from Mexico, the U.S. Border Patrol said Monday.
Two separate 911 calls and a rescue beacon activation helped to save the undocumented immigrants, who were all medically evaluated and then transported Border Patrol processing stations in connection with immigration violations, officials said.
The first rescue came on Friday afternoon. Agents tracked coordinates from a 911 caller concerned about two distressed migrants, officials said.
The two Guatemalan migrants were rescued in an area south of Sells, which is about 60 miles southwest of Tucson.
Later that night, Casa Grande-based agents responded to another call and were able to rescue two Mexican migrants west of Sells, Border Patrol officials said.
On Saturday night, a response to a rescue beacon activation helped to save one Mexican national, officials said. The migrant in the U.S. illegally was found northwest of Lukeville.
Border Patrol has strategically placed emergency rescue beacons that border crossers can use to call for help if they became stranded or in distress in the desert. As of April this year, there were 34 rescue beacons in Arizona’s desert that could be accessed by migrants.
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Last year, Border Patrol rescued more than 1,400 migrants in the Tucson Sector, which covers Cochise, Santa Cruz and Pima counties. The majority of rescues took place during the warmer months.
The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office in late June reported it had received the remains of 77 dead migrants, according to a report by a team of USA Today network reporters who have documented issues along the U.S.-Mexico border and the challenges associated with building a new border wall.
The beacons are designed to be seen from far distances and offer lifesaving assistance, the U.S. Border Patrol says on its website. Agents perform an annual border safety initiative that highlights the dangers of illegally crossing the border and how to use these beacons.
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