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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 6:20pm
EL PASO — Border Patrol rescued eight undocumented immigrants stuck in the mud this morning out in San Elizario.
The eight people were stuck for hours in mud and near freezing temperatures until two different rescue crews came to save them. By 8 this morning, only tattered clothes remained from a scene of panic and desperation.
In San Elizario, the cotton fields are freshly irrigated and the ground is soaked and thick with mud. The conditions were so harsh, they trapped eight people trying to cross illegally from Mexico.
"Those fields do get really soft. The mud gets really thick so it does make it hard for people to maneuver in that mud," said Border Patrol Agent, Lorena Apodaca.
The mud and extremely low temperatures made this an urgent rescue mission.
"So it is an issue that we do deal with maybe not a daily basis but it does happen in our area where we do have the river," said Apodaca.
The first border patrol agents to arrive here couldn't pull all the people out of the mud so they called backup. The Fabens ATV unit completed the rescue. An ambulance took two people to the hospital for possible hypothermia.
" We need to ensure first and foremost their safety, regardless of the individual that we're trying to rescue, whether he was a criminal or not a criminal, drug smuggler or a human smuggler. We still have to do our job and ensure that the lives of people are not at stake," said Border Patrol Agent, Ramiro Cordero.
News Channel Nine asked the agents if they ever get used to these type of traumatic rescues.
"Well you have to remember that we took an oath, just like any other law enforcement officer we take an oath to enforce the laws. Are we humans? yes, we're humans and we do have feelings, however those feelings have to be set aside in order to accomplish our mission," said Cordero.
Also involved in the rescue, El Paso County sheriff's office, and the fire departments of Fabens, Clint and San Elizario.