A migrant from Mexico drowned in a southern California border canal as he and his brother attempted to illegally enter the United States Monday night.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents operating the Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS) observed a man standing by the Briar Canal near Calexico, California. The agent dispatched front-line agents to the scene located about seven miles east of the Calexico West Port of Entry, according to El Centro Sector officials.
When the agents arrived, they observed a man pointing into the canal at another man in the water. Agents attempted to contact the man who appeared unresponsive. Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) trained agents came to the scene and removed the lifeless body from the river. The BORSTAR agents attempted to revive the man but were ultimately unsuccessful.
The agents interviewed the other man and learned both men were Mexican citizens and siblings. The surviving brother told agents they were attempting to illegally cross the canal to enter the U.S.
Agents contacted the Imperial County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office, who took control of the scene and the body.
This is at least the third death of a migrant in the El Centro Sector this calendar year.
During the first three months of 2019, at least 29 migrants lost their lives while or shortly after illegally crossing the U.S. border from Mexico, according to the International Organization for Migrant’s Missing Migrant Project. The report shows 25 of the 29 reported deaths occurred at or near the Texas border. Despite the massive surge in illegal border crossings, deaths are down substantially from the same period in the past five years.