EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued two migrants who were swept a mile and a half downstream after jumping into the American Canal on Friday in El Paso’s Lower Valley.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release, an off-duty border agent contacted fellow agents after spotting the two migrants scaling down the border wall near the Midway Drive exit along the Cesar Chavez Highway, commonly known as the Border Highway.
Agents responded and observed the migrants jump into the canal and struggle to stay afloat.
The agents then requested the assistance of Emergency Medical Services and the El Paso Fire Department.
About a mile and half downstream, a border agent clung to a rung on a ladder on the canal wall and was able to throw a rope floatation device.
CBP’s El Paso Sector provided video of rescue crews on the levee treating the migrants, who were identified only as being from Ecuador and Brazil.
“Had it not been for the life-saving efforts of our Border Patrol Agents, these individuals could have easily drowned.” Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez stated in a statement. “I am extremely proud of the heroic actions by our agents. This event once again illustrates that our agents will place themselves in harm’s way, or go any length, to render aid to those in need.”
Also on Friday, El Paso County Water Improvement District employees discovered a body in an irrigation canal in San Elizario, Texas.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s said the victim was a 42-year-old migrant from Mexico, but deputies were working with the Mexican Consulate to identify next of kin.
CBP said that during the Fiscal Year 2022, which began Oct. 1, border agents in the El Paso Sector performed more than 404 rescues, and 26 were water-canal-related. The El Paso Sector has also registered 56 migrant deaths, 20 of which were canal drownings.