SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Mexico’s National Institute of Migration, known in Mexico as INM, is asking migrants to forgo their attempts to illegally cross the border, especially if it involves a hike or trek over mountains or deserts.
“We have rescues almost daily,” said David Perez Tejada, INM director in Tijuana.
Perez Tejada made these comments a few days ago after a family of five had been rescued in the mountains east of Tijuana and just south of U.S. territory.
The family had been walking for six hours when their guide told them to wait while he went ahead to get water.
“This is when we found out we had been abandoned,” said Laura in English.
Laura and her family from Colombia, including her four-year-old son, had paid $1,000 a piece to be escorted over the rocky terrain into the U.S.
“They told us it would be a 40-minute hike, then they said another 30 and then another 30,” said Laura. “My son asked me, ‘mom are we going to die?’ I didn’t even know how to respond knowing we probably weren’t going to make it.”
Somehow their call for help was received, and a search was launched. It took 14 hours for rescuers to find them.
“My son was hungry and I knew he must’ve been starving. We were all thirsty,” said Laura.
Rescuers from Grupo Beta, which works with INM to patrol and find migrants along the border, quickly gave Laura and her family food and water upon finding them.
Her husband, in tears, can be seen and heard crying in a video as rescuers arrive.
“We know migrants cling to their dreams of making it across the border and into the U.S. but it’s not worth it,” said Perez Tejada.
He said they are constantly warning migrants to avoid risking their lives and not to cross in rural, unforgiving terrain.
“We even warn them to avoid trying to scale the border barriers. Too many people get injured or die.”