TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Two migrant rights groups are making bold claims about what they say is a lack of urgency for migrants caught in the elements when they cross the border.
"They become ill, dehydrated, lacking food and water, often suffering extremity injuries that cause them to not be able to continue walking to seek help," said Parker Deighan, with 'No More Deaths.'
Along with 'Coalición de Derechos Humanos' or 'Coalition for Human Rights,' both groups claimed U.S Customs and Border Protection doesn't provide help to migrants in the wilderness or hinders the efforts of people who want to help.
According to their findings, they said there's a pattern whereby first responders, either private citizens or local law enforcement, aren't able to respond to any report of a migrant in need in the harsh Arizona borderlands.
"Border Patrol has a complete monopoly over emergency response for all people who are crossing the border," Deighan said.
These very serious claims, the groups said, are compounded by what they call an attempt to keep them from the public.
"Essentially, the outcomes of each of these cases are completely unknown because they don't operate with any transparency."
How they came across this information, both groups said, press releases from the agency themselves among other sources.
"We drew on 911 recordings that were received by Pima County, Arizona from 2016-2018. We also drew on testimony from hotline volunteers and humanitarian search team members."
"Interviews with Pima County Sheriff's Department search and rescue coordinators," Deighan added
So what does the agency have to say about these allegations?
They provided this statement to KGUN9:
"CBP remains committed to humanely securing the southern border of the United States and devotes the totality of its force to finding lost or injured individuals while also balancing the border security mission with which they are charged."