By - Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

LORDSBURG, N.M. (AP) - The Border Patrol says agents rescued 18 migrants abandoned by smugglers in cold and wet weather in the southwestern New Mexico desert near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The agency’s El Paso Sector office said the migrants told agents that smugglers who abandoned them Thursday morning said they should find authorities to get help.

According to the Border Patrol, the migrants’ clothing was soaked by water and they were rapidly taken to a Border Patrol facility to get them out of cold rain, sleet and strong wind gusts.

The Border Patrol says the migrants were evaluated and that none required further medical assistance before they were processed for immigration proceedings.

The National Weather Service office in El Paso, Texas, doesn’t have a monitoring station in the area where the rescue occurred.