BP steps up search for immigrants amid Texas heat

July 19, 2011 4:33:09 AM PDT
The Border Patrol has stepped up search and rescue efforts in South Texas for suspected illegal immigrants who may be overcome by the excessive heat. The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector late Monday announced "Operation Heat Wave." Agents trained in the border environment and climate will be on alert for people in heat-related distress.

The agency has warning signs posted along the Rio Grande, as well as emergency beacons to be activated by immigrants who need help. Agents in the sector, so far this fiscal year, have rescued more than 120 people who became ill.

Rosendo Hinojosa, who's chief of the Rio Grande Valley sector, says the agency and Mexico are committed to reducing injuries and deaths and to stop smugglers who put the lives of immigrants at risk.

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