EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The U.S. Border Patrol has deployed four life-saving emergency beacons in a busy migrant corridor near Lordsburg, New Mexico.
These self-sustaining towers purposely placed in some of the region’s most remote areas will allow lost or exhausted migrants to press a “panic” button and summon the Border Patrol for assistance. They are the first of 15 the El Paso Sector of the Border Patrol plans to deploy in its Far West Texas-Southern New Mexico area of responsibility. Another five “legacy” beacons have been in operation for some time in the Deming area.
The sector “is working in collaboration with non-governmental organizations, federal, state and county agencies as well as foreign government partners to set up rescue beacons in remote areas where migrants may be in distress due to exposure to the elements,” the Border Patrol said in a news release.
The announcement comes as exposure in desert and mountain areas and drownings in rivers and canals have claimed 383 lives in the Southern border through the end of July. That’s a two-decade high and already surpassed last year’s toll of 253 bodies, according to national news reports.
The Border Patrol described the areas where the towers are being placed as “inhospitable terrain” with no access to quick medical help and little or no cell phone reception. This includes mountains, large stretches of desert and brush.
“These rescue beacons will help Border Patrol Agents and our law enforcement partners to more quickly facilitate the rescue of missing and endangered migrants resulting in lives saved,” El Paso Sector Border Patrol Chief Agent Gloria I. Chavez said.
“The El Paso Sector Border Patrol continues to proactively collaborate with (non-government) original and third-party partners to support humanitarian efforts,” said El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez.
The agency encourages community members to report suspicious or life-threatening activity anonymously by calling 1-800-635- 2509.