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Border safety event held in the Rio Grande Valley regarding migrants

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Posted at 12:36 PM, Apr 26, 2023

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX — Year after the Year, the warning is clear for migrants attempting to get into the United States.

"To date, the agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector have rescued 151 people just this year, since October to date," U.S. Borden Patrol Chief Gloria Chavez said.

Corpus Christi and much of the Coastal Bend is included in the U.S. Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector.

For those migrants who choose to cross in the U.S. risking their lives, making the trek up north, the odds of making the journey safely decrease as the summer months approach.

"These beacons when activated send a distress signal, along with an image of the individual in need to our agents. The image allows our agent to understand the condition of the migrant," Chavez said.

Now, while these are the circumstances the agents want, it's not always that way, according to agent Gilbert Salinas with the missing migrant program.

The program helps connect loved ones with the remains of the person they're looking for.

"The number one concern and objective of course, is the prevention of migrants deaths but unfortunately when someone does succumb to the elements, we are then to make the notifications to the consulates," he said.

In turn, those consulates contact migrant families when their loved ones remains are found.

Chavez said the partnership they have with local ranchers helps them access remains or get to migrants in distress.

"God bless our land owners and ranchers that are out there everyday assisting BP agents and letting them work on their land because many migrants do go through those areas," Chavez said.

Through their partnership, border patrol officials tell us this fiscal year, our region has seen over 132,000 detentions. They've also seen a slight increase in border crossings through our area.