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Border Patrol in El Paso highlights the dangers of crossing the border


Editor's note: A previous version of this story listed data from the year 2021, which KVIA incorrectly labeled as data from the year 2022. Quotes from an interview with the water rescue team in 2022 have been removed from this story.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The U.S Border Patrol El Paso sector kicked off a safety initiative Tuesday morning.

The campaign highlights the dangers of crossing the border.

With the ongoing migrant surge and the expected lifting of Title 42 on May 11th, the campaign is meant to raise awareness of the dangers migrants face while attempting to cross the border into the United States illegally.

A spokesperson says the event trained first responders to rescue people trapped on land hazards, and people struggling in the water.

"We see a lot more deaths because of drownings, because that's not what the canal system is meant to do, these canal systems are not meant for people," said Captain Kris Menendez with El Paso Fire's water rescue team at the training yesterday.

Last fiscal year border patrol agents in El Paso performed 493 rescues and encountered 55 migrant deaths. So far in fiscal year 2023, however, there have been 167 rescues and 29 migrant deaths, according to Sector Chief Anthony "Scott" Good.

Title 42 is a CDC health order put in place during the pandemic to stop the spread of COVID-19. Now that the pandemic is ending, the order is also scheduled to be lifted. Immigration officials say after May 11, migrants entering the country will be processed under Title 8.

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