Canal Levels Increase, Pose Greater Risk For Illegal Crossers

Canal levels increase, pose greater risk for illegal crossers

Updated: Feb 21, 2008 10:12 AM
By Rachel Abell

EL PASO — Illegally crossing one of the canals along the U.S.-Mexico border is a dangerous feat and many people have lost their lives trying, but authorities now warn that the canals will become even more treacherous.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials warned that the water levels in canals running along the border are expected to rise because of water being released from the New Mexico Elephant Butte Reservoir.

The added volume can create quick-moving undercurrents and deeper water that pose an even more serious threat to those attempting to cross.

The water's release coincides with the irrigation season which began Wednesday and officials estimate the increase should reach El Paso's Upper Valley by Sunday.

Border Patrol officials are worried that smugglers will convince illegal crossers that the increased water levels do not pose any danger when in fact the potential for loss of life is dramatically increased.

In 2007, 13 migrants drowned attempting to cross at various points along canals in the border region. Agents working in the area are trained in emergency response swift-water rescue, but because the danger is increasing, officials are hoping that people will avoid these areas altogether.

With the start of the irrigation season, they also want to warn those who use the river's edge for recreation of the coming rising tides.

2008 American News Articles

February 2008

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February 21, 2008: Sanctuary Law Tabled Until “Community Has Healed”*

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February 20, 2008: Man Admits Arranging Fraudulent Marriages***

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January 22, 2008: Asylum Program Falls Short For Iraqis Aiding U.S. Forces**

January 21, 2008: U.S. Faces 'Grave Threat' In Drug Fight

January 21, 2008: Illegal Immigrants Being Fired In Face Of Federal Crackdown

January 20, 2008: Mount Rainier Council To Vote On Becoming 'Sanctuary' City

January 20, 2008: Resorts Increasingly Turning To Foreigners For Service Jobs

January 20, 2008: From Green Card To U.S. Passport

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January 3, 2008: U.S. Dollar Decline Impacts Immigrant Remittances

January 3, 2008: Getting Tougher On Illegals; ICE Program Trains Deputies

January 3, 2008: Mexican Farmers Protest NAFTA

January 3, 2008: Border Agents Assaulted At “Unprecedented” Rate**

January 2, 2008: For Republicans, Contest's Hallmark Is Immigration

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