The Border Safety Initiative (BSI) was established in 1998, in response to injuries and deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border. The initiative aims to increase public awareness in both countries as to the hazards of illegally crossing the border. The risks of such illegal crossings include:
- Heat exhaustion
- Extreme and brutal cold in the winter
- Dangerous river currents
- Dangerous terrain
The United States Border Patrol is also increasing rescue efforts and training for its agents under the BSI.
How Can I Report a Missing Person?
There are many ways to report a missing person if you believe he/she is a victim of a dangerous border-crossing. Before calling in, it is important to make sure that the person you are reporting has in fact crossed the border or was planning on crossing the border.
- Border Patrol Sectors: You can call a 1-800 number established by Border Patrol Sectors. You can call a particular Border Patrol Sector's number if you know that the person disappeared in that particular area.
- Mexican Consulate: If you are looking for a Mexican citizen, you should contact your local Mexican Consulate. The Consulates can contact the Border Patrol for you.
- Local agencies: Try contacting local law enforcement agencies and medical facilities.
How Can the Border Patrol Help Me when I Call?
A database of everyone who is rescued or who has died crossing the border is kept by the U.S. Border Patrol. When you call in, they will search the database to see if they can find the person you are looking for. If they find a match, they will lead you to the appropriate office. If the person is still alive but you believe he/she is in danger, the Border Patrol may initiate a rescue effort. If the person has died, a local law enforcement agency will conduct the investigation.
Do I Need an Experienced Immigration Lawyer?
An immigration lawyer would be able to help you deal with any government agencies or consulates you may encounter. However, your first actions should include contacting the proper offices and Border Patrol sectors.