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El Paso Sector BP Warns About Dangers of Entering The Canals

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The canals are deeper than they appear and often carry strong water currents and powerful undertow as more water is released for irrigation purposes. USCBP Image for illustration purposes
The canals are deeper than they appear and often carry strong water currents and powerful undertow as more water is released for irrigation purposes. USCBP Image for illustration purposes
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EL PASO, Texas – The U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector is warning people on both sides of the border about the dangers of entering the International Boundary and Water Commission canals that parallel the U.S. – Mexico border.

Every year large volumes of water are released into the canals from reservoirs upstream in New Mexico. The canals are deeper than they appear and often carry strong water currents and powerful undertow as more water is released for irrigation purposes.

Ysleta Border Patrol Agents and the El Paso Fire Department successfully conducted a water rescue operation after two migrants entered the canal in an area west of the Zaragoza International Port of Entry on March 19. This rescue serves as a reminder of the dangers of jumping into these canals that parallel the border wall in an effort to evade detection and apprehension by Border Patrol. Criminal smugglers often endanger the lives of migrants by telling them to jump into the canal to avoid apprehension. Migrants sometimes drown because of the currents and undertow.

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The U.S. Border Patrol is bringing attention to this danger. They are asking the media to assist in messaging to people on both sides of the border about this danger to avoid the loss of human life.

“Ruthless criminal smugglers continue to recklessly endanger the lives of vulnerable migrants who do not understand the dangers of illegally crossing the border and are often coerced into these unpredictable canals,” said El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Scott Good. “Transnational Criminal Organizations treat migrants as commodity for their own selfish financial gain and have little regard for their safety.”

This fiscal year 2024, to date, El Paso Sector has performed more than 290 rescues throughout the sector. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol while remaining anonymous by calling 1-800-635-2509.

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