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Border Patrol Search and Rescue on High Alert

Deaths & Rescues Increase During Hot Summer Months

June 3, 2016

YUMA, Arizona – In anticipation of the approaching extreme temperatures of the summer months, the U.S. Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector is placing its Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) unit on high alert to respond to emergency situations to include agents, civilians, and illegal aliens in distress.

BORSTAR was created in 1998 in response to the growing number of injuries to Border Patrol agents and migrant deaths along our nation’s borders. BORSTAR agents will focus their efforts in the remote areas of Yuma Sector’s area of operations. Although the chance of survival is slim due to the remoteness and dangerous environment, it would take days when traveling on foot for potential crossers to reach civilization.

Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik said smugglers and illegal aliens die every year attempting to illegally enter the United States and not attempting to cross the border illegally is the best way to avoid becoming a causality in the desert.

“While securing our Nation’s border is our primary mission, we also remain fully committed to reducing heat related injuries and preventing deaths as we focus on our homeland security mission,” he said. “We respect the value of all human life and will extend every measure to protect it whenever possible, so I urge people not to make any attempt to cross the border illegally.”

To learn more about U.S. Border Patrol’s BORSTAR program for the last four years, click HERE.

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP strives to keep terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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