Crossing the Rio Grande is no easy feat but every year thousands of people try and do it. Border patrol has a program called the Border Safety Initiative where agents are trained in search and rescue because many of the times people who try to enter into the us illegally aren't prepared. Commander, Robert Harris explains.
"They're often tired from the journey and entering terrain they're unfamiliar with and place their lives in the hands of smugglers and they have no regard for they’re safety."
Here in South Texas there are about 250 personal that represent this response team. Since the induction of this program border patrol has saved 24,000 people along the border. 9,000 of those rescues were in South Texas. Heriberto Espinoza is part of this special unit and talks about their training and how dangerous crossing the river can be.
"Here with the team we do rescues on water, land, and in the air. "It's always dangerous cross the river cause you never know how fast it's moving. Your foot can get stuck and you can drown."
A lot of the time these rescues happen in remote areas not easily accessible to first responders. Agent Douglas Lindberg is an EMT and shares how the heat can make things dangerous when people and enter into the U.S. and go to great lengths to avoid capture.
"We find them dehydrated and the heat makes them ill. Crossing the border is a violation it shouldn't mean a death sentence."