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Two Suspected Illegal Immigrants Die Trying to Cross Border

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Aired 4/19/09

The Border Patrol says two suspected illegal immigrants died in the rugged mountains east of San Diego this week. Authorities say both victims were trying to sneak across the border with the help of smugglers. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has details.

Supervisory Agent James Jacquez says agents got word of a woman in distress in rural East San Diego on Monday afternoon. She was dehydrated and unconscious. Jacquez says the paramedics could not revive her.

Jacquez: Basically when she got to the point where she couldn't keep up, she couldn't walk any longer, the smuggler left her behind. This is a very common tactic and we see this quite a bit. The smugglers do not look at these as human beings. They look at them as human cargo. They're nothing but a profit margin.

In a separate incident just an hour later, Jacquez says border agents discovered a car that had rolled over. Seven people were inside. One of them had died. The driver and one passenger will be prosecuted for alien smuggling.

Andrew Phelps, KPBS News.

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