A would-be illegal immigrant had a close call with the Pacific Ocean this week before he was hauled to safety.
The incident occurred on Tuesday at around 8:15 p.m., according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A migrant was spotted hanging on the international boundary wall at Imperial Beach, California.
The 25-year-old Mexican citizen had made the climb up the Mexican side of the wall, but when he sought to climb down the U.S. side, things did not go so well.
When spotted, he was hanging above the water line.
Mexican authorities were able to safely free the man.
U.S. Border Patrol agents then took him to safety.
First responders transported the man to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia and knee pain.
The Border Patrol used the incident to highlight the risks of illegal crossings.
“Let this serve as a grave reminder,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said.
“A smuggler’s sole motive is profit. When the going gets tough, they will leave you hanging, both literally and figuratively. Our agents will always preserve lives whenever possible.”
In the final three weeks of December, the Border Patrol has arrested about 2,500 people a day, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Even though 2,500 a day’s crisis numbers, it doesn’t feel like a crisis because we have the authorities to effectively address it,” said acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, referring to a policy in place to return illegal immigrants to Mexico without arresting them in the U.S.
“If you take away those authorities, that 2,500 per day becomes a crisis almost overnight because now, we’re bringing them in our facilities. Our facilities are going to be overcrowded once again.”
“If you take away the ability to go — to have them wait in Mexico while we’re doing that, then where do we hold them?” Morgan added. “We’re not going to be able to take them through that whole [court] process in 20 days. It’s just not going to happen.”
Morgan said the increase was fueled by single adult males from Mexico but that border agents are also seeing increases in families and unaccompanied children from Central American countries.
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