Agents rescue 13 undocumented immigrants from California’s rugged border terrain


EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Known for its “challenging recreational activities” and “extraordinary opportunities for solitude,” California’s Jacumba Wilderness Area was the site of an hourslong, binational rescue effort.

U.S. Border Patrol agents from the El Centro Sector rescued 13 undocumented immigrants Saturday evening in the mountainous terrain, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.

Mexico’s Grupo Beta service notified the Border Patrol of a 6:45 p.m. distress call from a mountainous area near Ocotillo, Calif. As part of Mexico’s National Institute of Migration, Grupo Beta offers water, medical aid, and information to immigrants who are at risk.

Border agents who were in the area immediately began searching for the lost migrants. The Border Patrol’s Special Operations Detachment then dispatched three Border Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents and a Border Tactical (BORTAC) K-9 team to assist in the search.

At 8:25 p.m., Mexican officials notified Border Patrol of a second distress call made after the group split up.

Using the updated information and location coordinates, agents located the first half of the group about an hour later. At 11:17 p.m., agents found the second group.

In all, agents rescued three juveniles and ten adults from Mexico. BORSTAR paramedics provided water, evaluated, and treated the migrants before agents expelled them back to Mexico.

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