October 13, 2009
Border Patrol setting up beacons to help stranded illegal immigrants

The Laredo Sector Border Patrol reveals plans to launch rescue beacons. The Border Patrol has deployed the first of several planned rescue beacons to help people in distress.

The death toll continues to rise for immigrants who are abandoned in the desolate terrain of South Texas. In response, the Laredo Border Patrol says they have come up with a way to assist those in distress. They plan to place rescue beacons in areas where immigrants have died because they couldn't get help in time:

"It's a positive because it gives a person who is stranded or injured left out to their own devices an opportunity to communicate with us."

"With this functioning of the beacons we can reduce, greatly reduce the number of immigrant deaths coming tot he U.S."

Written on each of the beacons are directions in English, Spanish, and Chinese, the person in distress can push a button alerting the command center, who will then send help.

Although these rescue beacons may save lives, Border Patrol agents say it will not save everyone who attempts the journey:

"It's a safety net that's out there, but its not a given a person is going to reach the beacon for one, and number two that the area people are being smuggled through is one where a beacon is."

The first rescue beacon will be launched in an area near Hebbronville.

If the death rate continues, the Border Patrol is prepared to launch three more beacons in the area.

For those who question the effectiveness of these rescue beacons the border patrol offers this response:

"You know, obviously, we aren't going to be able to save every life, but if we can save even one life it is well worth the investment."

Over 50 deaths this year have been reported for immigrants who have been abandoned in desolate areas.