A Border Patrol agent in the Otay Mountain wilderness
A Border Patrol agent in the Otay Mountain Wilderness. Courtesy CBP

The Border Patrol announced that it is increasing patrols in the Otay Mountain Wilderness area to both deter and rescue migrants during the hot summer months.

“Transnational criminal organizations are notorious for putting migrants in dangerous situations for monetary gain. Smugglers working for these organizations often use the remote Otay Mountain Wilderness to avoid being apprehended,” said Aaron M. Heitke, chief patrol agent in the San Diego Sector.

He said the patrol’s Border Search, Trauma, and Rescue unit will be on standby as summer temperatures reach hazardous levels and migrants frequently suffer from severe dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Rattlesnake sightings have been on the rise, and a migrant nearly lost her life recently after being bit.

“By increasing public awareness, stepping up patrols, and alerting potential migrants to the serious dangers of illegal border crossings, we hope to save lives,” Heitke said.

Between October 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, agents in the San Diego sector have apprehended 35,464 people attempting to enter the U.S. illegally and assisted with 37 rescues.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.