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Death At The Border: Threat Of Trump's Wall Intensifies Search For Dying Migrants

December 13, 2016 11:03 a.m.

A group of men risk their lives to search for Marco Antonio Garcia, who went missing at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Related Story: Death At The Border: Threat Of Trump's Wall Intensifies Search For Dying Migrants


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Donald Trump promised to build a wall at the border. In part one of this series Jean Carrero explores the consequences of existing border barriers. What may happen if they expand. She joins the search for one loss migrants body.

I am hiking one of the borders deadliest smuggling routes. A documenting the search for a 20-year-old Mexican who vanished while entering the US to the Arizona desert. He just had a baby in Mexico City and wanted to send his family money. His great uncle walks beside me. He reads me a text message with the crucial clue.

[Spoken in Spanish]

It is from a drug mule. He said it appeared he died of dehydration or heat exhaustion.

If we find them, it is bad news for me. If we don't find him, it is bad news either way.

We are with men that call themselves Eagles of the desert. They search for dead or dying migrants during their free time. The plumbers, farmers, construction workers. Mostly immigrants who live in San Diego. Everyone is sweating and it's hot out here and were carrying heavy backpacks of water and medical supplies. The men are all ages. The youngest is a teenager and the oldest is in his 70s. His parents brought him to the US when he was two years old.

I feel American but at the same time, my roots are from Mexico. I try to help out as much as I can.

He is very tall and 10. The earth is unusually few -- Fertile for a desert. Foliage cleanings and their canopies above our heads. Is impossible to keep sight of each other. We repeatedly have to stop and regroup. Rowing Whistles to find each other. Signs of migrants are everywhere. Into water gallons, toss backpacks, dolls, even shredded women's underwear. It is creepy. Snakes, scorpions, cattle skeletons. We have to make it out before sunset before smugglers come out that inhabit this terrain.

Hundreds of people die in this desert each year. The deaths started with construction around cities in the late 1990s which pushed migrants on some remote dangerous desert routes. Fatalities since the 90s ranges as high as 10,000

That is more than American soldiers killed in Iraq. It's a staggering toll for a public policy

Donald Trump has vowed to expand current Fencing.

We are going to build a wall.

Trumps wall would funnel migrants into even more dangerous areas.

We haven't had a serious policy discussion.

The oncologist stairs. -- The uncle just stairs

Unfortunately, which is found remains of a human being. We need DNA.

The family may have closure soon. KPBS news.