Extreme heat leads to record number of calls for help along the border, migrant deaths

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 8:56 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The extreme heat this week has led to a record number of calls for help along the border in southeastern Arizona and several deaths.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection tells KOLD News 13, it has been averaging 30 to 40 911 calls each day, a record for the Tucson Sector.

CBP says agents have responded to more than 300 calls in FY21, which started in October.

But sometimes it’s too late.

The Pima County Medical Examiner said there have already been 11 heat-related migrant deaths in the month of June, five of them the week beginning June 14.

CBP Tucson’s Sector produced a Spanish-language video asking migrants not to come, especially in the heat. Agents say the extreme terrain combined with the heat and not being able to carry enough water is comparable to jumping into a pot of boiling water and expecting to survive.

For those who ignore the warnings - CBP telling people not to wait to call 911 - there are several emergency beacons located along the southern border.

It could be the difference between life and death.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.