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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Special Ops Bring Unique Skills to Dangerous BP Mission

If you’re lost in the Mexican desert, staying alive is a tough proposition. This is the plight of hundreds of thousands of migrants who attempt to reach our southwest border every year, usually with the help of a paid smuggler known as a “coyote.”

But having a guide doesn’t guarantee your survival; the Sonoran Desert is a brutal master, and if you can’t keep up with the group in the searing heat over dangerous terrain, the desert offers fatal punishment. If migrants happen to have a means of communication, such as a radio or cell phone, sometimes they’re able to contact 911 assistance in the United States. Then the grand irony occurs – they thank their lucky stars for the arrival of the US Border Patrol’s Search, Trauma and Rescue team (BORSTAR), which belongs to the very agency they’ve been working so hard to avoid.

Most of the media attention paid to the US Border Patrol is characterized by stories of large drug or cash seizures, illegal immigrant apprehensions or cross-border shooting situations. Few Americans know the intense training and dangerous situations these specialized BORSTAR agents must persevere through in order to find lost migrants and provide them with lifesaving medical care. Many times it’s not as simple as landing a helicopter on flat land right next to the immigrant in distress.

Migrants often don’t have a point of reference or significant landmark they can use to relay their locations. Sometimes they get injured in canyons or mountain ranges that require time and special equipment for extractions.

Read the complete report in the latest Homeland Security Today "Border Security" column.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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