Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers helped revive an unresponsive two-year-old child at the El Paso port of entry on May 11.

It was one of many comparable situations CBP officers periodically deal with that can turn from dangerous to heartbreaking in an instant.

Officers at the El Paso, Ysleta Port of Entry were conducting enforcement operations in a traffic line, before those in line reach the primary inspection booths, when parents of a two-year-old girl asked Border Patrol officers for medical help.

The toddler was unconscious and had a high fever.

That’s when an EMT-certified CBP officer was called over. The officer administered first aid and was able to restore normal breathing in the child until emergency medical services arrived.

The toddler was then taken to the El Paso Children’s Hospital. She was diagnosed with the Flu-B virus, given medication, and released in stable condition, according to CBP.

“A possible Mother’s Day weekend tragedy was averted by the quick and decisive actions of CBP officers,” said CBP El Paso port director Beverly Good.

“CBP officers will often act as first responders when medical emergencies arise at our border ports of entry,” said Good.

Senseless tragedies

Not all border cases end so favorably. The body of a 10-month-old toddler was recovered when migrants tried to cross the Rio Grande River in a raft that capsized on May 1, CBP reported. 

The father of the toddler was captured at the border, and told agents he was part of a group of nine that attempted to cross the Rio Grande River in a rubber raft that capsized, spilling all occupants into the cold, rapid waters.

The Rio Grande River is a dangerous crossing, especially when waters are rapid. It is a common practice for greedy smugglers with little regard for human life to imperil the lives of migrants for financial gain. (U.S. Border patrol)

The man told agents his wife, two sons—10 months old and six years old—and a 7-year-old nephew were among those swept away in the river.

A search was started, and shortly after, a U.S. Border Patrol agent—disregarding his own safety—jumped into the river, successfully rescuing both the 6-year-old boy and his mother.

“What we’re dealing with now is senseless tragedy,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz of the incident.

“The men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol have been doing everything in their power to prevent incidents like this. And yet, callous smugglers continue to imperil the lives of migrants for financial gain.”

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