El Paso

Border Patrol warns against danger of illegally crossing border

Border Patrol warns against danger of...

Border Patrol agents warned the public about the dangers of illegally crossing into the United States through storm drains, after five undocumented immigrants had to be rescued this week. 

Border Patrol spokesman Joe Romero said many storm drains are located in area behind the border fence. They're located feet away from the Rio Grande so runoff water from El Paso can flow into the river. 
Many of the drains have heavy, metal reinforcements, but Romero said when someone has a desire to cross they can find a way to open them. 

"Depending on where they're going in, drains can lead to a number of different places," said Romero. "Whether it's close to where the old Civic Center used to be, the UTEP area, Porfirio Diaz area, there's a number of different places. Unfortunately, a number storm drains empty out near the highways." 

The five people crossing the border Monday night had to navigate complex tunnels, with dangers lurking in the dark. 

"Some of these spaces can be 2x2 -- There's venomous animals in there at times," said Romero. "There's also gasses and chemicals that have been spilt in these storm drains so you have those noxious toxins in there."

Even during broad daylight, Romero said people still devise ways to cross. Law enforcement in Mexico and the United States are working to deter people from crossing illegally. 

"Our goal is to really get the message out and to not cross the border illegally whether it's through the storm drains, through the city -- there's some real dangers involved including working with cartels," said Romero.

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