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CBP holds press conference to highlight “Dangers of the Journey”

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Thousands of migrants cross the US-Mexico border every month facing harsh elements as they make their journey to our country. 

On Wednesday, the U.S. Border Patrol Yuma Sector showed us the dangers of crossing illegally.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said their Air and Marine operations have rescued 76 migrants in 2024, 187 in 2023, and 447 in 2022; and one of the biggest dangers seen here is the heat. 

“These people are coming from areas that there may not be the same amount of terrain, they’re not prepared for and no one gave them the right information which really makes it dangerous," said Sean McGoffin, Yuma Sector Chief Patrol agent.

Dulce Maria with the Mexican Consulate said last year there were only nine migrants from Mexico who died in the Yuma Sector and so far, zero this year. 

“The missing migrant program, the emergency call line 911, and the consulate emergency call line, these resources can be the difference between life or death. One life lost is too many," said Dulce María Valle Álvarez, Mexican Consulate.

The Yuma Sector Chief Patrol agent said prosecutions for human smuggling are up significantly even though migrant crossings in the Yuma Sector have decreased.

“Really, it’s a wicked way to die, I mean it is just terrible that they should go and suffer so much and that is what encourages us and motivates us to go after smugglers and prosecute where we can," said McGoffin.

Migrants not only cross by land but also by water. 

“Starting in Morelos Dam, we have various spots where we possibly look for footprints and look for signs of entry, floaties, foam, anything that they use to float across," said Jeremy Plante, U.S. Border Patrol Riverine Unit agent.

CBP said in Fiscal Year 2022, they saw 11 drowning fatalities out of a total of 120 deaths, and in 2021, 10 migrants drowned out of 108 deaths.

“There are deep spots in that river, a lot of people think that its quite shallow, and some spots it is but there are plenty of deep spots, the current can vary significantly and it can pull you under," explained Plante.

CBP said it's going to continue finding innovative ways to decrease migrant deaths in our desert.

To watch the livestream of the press conference that was held on Wednesday morning, see attached video.

Article Topic Follows: Local News

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Dillon Fuhrman

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Valeria Rodriguez

Valeria Rodriguez joined the KYMA team as a multimedia journalist in June 2023.
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