The US Border Patrol has begun a new initiative to warn undocumented immigrants not to cross the desert to illegally enter the United States during the summer months by trying to make them aware of the hazards of such crossings.
The Border Safety Initiative Campaign has seen agents putting posters on display in detention centers and along the border and releasing a new video describing some of the dangers facing undocumented immigrants who attempt to make a desert crossing into the United States in the summer. The Border Patrol reported that just this past Saturday it came across a 36-year-old man from Mexico who had died from dehydration 12 miles from Santa Teresa. His son and another man were found close by, also suffering from severe dehydration.
“People who are coming into the United States, some of them don’t train for how rigorous of a journey it’s going to be,” says Adrian Calvillo, a public information officer for the US Border Patrol. “When you’re embarking on a journey, some of them are lied to by the smugglers. They’re told that it may be a day’s walk. But it could be up to seven days and they run out of water very, very quickly.”
Border agents say that the high temperatures make summer journeys extremely dangerous, with temperatures as high as 85º even in the evening. Fatal snake bites are also not uncommon for those attempting to cross the desert, and there is also a risk of flash flooding.