Skip to comments.Border Patrol rescues 12 immigrants near Sarita [South Texas]
Posted on 05/19/2006 1:26:44 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
Smuggler abandoned the multinational party
ARMSTRONG - Twelve undocumented immigrants abandoned by a smuggler and left to wander for four days through brush without food or water were rescued by Border Patrol agents Thursday.
Border Patrol agents in Kleberg County said they found the 12 immigrants after 4 p.m. near a windmill one mile south of the Sarita Border Patrol checkpoint, on land belonging to the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation.
The search, which encompassed a 40-mile-long stretch on either side of U.S. 77 and involved a Coast Guard helicopter, began at about 10 a.m. after Kenedy County officials received a 911 distress call from one of the immigrants who had a cell phone.
Officials were told the group's smuggler had abandoned them while they were sleeping four days earlier, and they had been without food for three days and without water for 2 1/2 days. The group also included two pregnant women and two children.
Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol spokesman Roy Cervantes said the caller made several more calls to 911 indicating he had tied a blue shirt and red shirt to a windmill to signal agents of the group's location. Agents also were able to secure a warrant for the cell phone number through the U.S. Attorney's Office, which allowed them to narrow the search area by pinpointing the cell tower nearest their phone.
After the rescue, the immigrants, who were from El Salvador, Mexico and Romania and ranged in age from 14 to 32, were taken to the Sarita checkpoint, where medics assessed their conditions. Cervantes said they were traumatized and dehydrated, but otherwise OK. Temperatures reached the mid-90s across the Coastal Bend on Thursday.
Cervantes said that had the group not had the cell phone, the immigrants might have died.
Officials plan to interview the group and hope to learn details about the smugglers and where they crossed the border. They will then be deported.
Early indications are that the Romanians were headed to New York and the others were going to Houston and Los Angeles, according to Cervantes.
Jose Vicente Rodriguez, also with the Border Patrol in the valley, said rescues like Thursday's speak to smugglers' motivation.
"The kind of people that do this, it just shows you how little regard they have for human life," he said.
So far this year, the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol has logged more than 350 rescues. Last year, they oversaw 159 rescues.
Cervantes said the spike in rescues is primarily the result of the large number of immigrants being found hidden in vehicles, which is the direct result of a Border Patrol crackdown on backcountry smuggling. That crackdown forced smugglers to revert back to highway smuggling.
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Here are the extremists and traitors: NAYs: ---16
If the desert had swallowed them up it would have been fine by me. They are invaders. I have no compassion for invaders.
Thet spent months in a tanning bed in order to fit in. They probably owned the cell phone also. (wonder if they had to pay roaming charges?)
Let's leave that for the ACLU.
I understand south americans crossing the southern border, but if you flew over from Romania to sneak into the US...why not fly into Canada, and sneak across.
Don't know, but they are catching a lot more Chinese illegals in S. Texas too. In the first part of May, 3 Iraqis were caught after they swam across the Rio Grande!
No matter what other "reasons" Bush gives for putting the interests of Mexico over that of the American people,
"...3 Iraqis were caught after they swam across the Rio Grande!"
This is how he practices Homeland Insecurity. Incredible.