Border Patrol agents rescued a pregnant Mexican woman and her husband Sunday morning, when smugglers abandoned them in rural Brooks County.

At about 8:15 a.m. Sunday, agents responded to a 911 call, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“A pregnant Mexican national and her husband had been abandoned by their smuggler after they could no longer keep up,” according to the news release.

The couple apparently attempted to walk through rural Brooks County to avoid the Falfurrias immigration checkpoint. Neither the man nor the woman was lawfully present in the United States.

Border Patrol agents, with help from a Air and Marine Operations helicopter, rescued the couple. The woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

“Unscrupulous human smugglers prey upon the desperation of illegal immigrants and exploit them for profit. Human smugglers are ruthless criminals who view the immigrant not as a human being, but as cargo,” according to the news release. “Immigrants are urged not to put their safety at risk by illegally entering the United States or circumventing a checkpoint.”