The Border Patrol is shifting agents with medical and rescue training to southern Arizona’s west desert in response to a record-breaking heat wave.
The daytime temperatures, which have soared above 115 degrees, have already triggered a spike in rescues and might have claimed the life of at least one migrant this week, according to the Border Patrol and humanitarian groups.
The heat wave is forecast to continue for several more days.
Volunteers from the group No More Deaths planned to search near Organ Pipe National Monument this weekend for at least one dead migrant who was reportedly seen in the area earlier this week, said Scott Warren, a member of the non-profit.
Two migrant groups passing through the area each reported seeing a dead body, but it was not clear if it was the same body or two bodies, he said.
“We’ve been getting a lot of calls,” said Warren, an Arizona State University geography professor who also volunteers with No More Deaths. This is the time of year when migrant rescues spike and “with the heat wave coming on, it’s been pretty rough.”
The humanitarian group places water jugs in the desert to help prevent migrant deaths.