TUCSON -- U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson region have saved 177 people during the last 30 days in the southern Arizona desert as summer temperatures have reach perilous levels, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
Officials said agents rescued 52 of the 177 just in the last week, when temperatures soared near 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
The recent rescues by the Tucson sector of the Border Patrol reflect a larger trend. Agents from the sector have performed 372 rescues during the current fiscal year. During the same period last year, there were 265 rescues, according to federal data.
Those rescued are suspected of crossing into the United States illegally. It’s physically impossible for the average person to carry enough water to survive such punishing heat, Border Patrol agents report.
“Smugglers convince migrants that they will only walk a short distance. In reality, they are forced to walk long distances within short periods of time. Those unable to keep up are left behind to die,” stated Border Patrol Agent Brent M. Cagen.