Some Border Patrol agents in Arizona will carry heat stress kits this summer
Some Border Patrol agents in Arizona will be equipped with heat stress kits this summer — with tools to respond to migrants suffering from heat-related illnesses amid triple-digit temperatures.
The kits will be given to agents in two Border Patrol stations in southern Arizona. Tucson Sector Chief John Modlin said the stations were chosen because of the high number of migrant deaths in those areas during recent years. He said 48 migrants have died in southern Arizona so far this fiscal year.
"The kits contain electrolyte packets, instant cold packs, cooling towels, sunscreen and disposable emergency blankets for creating shade," Modlin said at a press event about the roll out.
The heat kits will be tested in Arizona and could expand to other places. Forty-three sets of human remains were recovered in southern Arizona last June, marking a new, single month record. The Tucson Sector's roughly 260-mile-long border stretch is largely pubic land and rugged desert wilderness. Modlin discouraged migrants from making the journey, especially during the summer months.
Advocates warn this could be another deadly summer as pandemic-era restrictions push more migrants and asylum seekers to cross between ports of entry.