Migrant's journey and life end in Arizona desert - CBS 5 - KPHO

Migrant's journey and life end in Arizona desert

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NOGALES, AZ (CBS5) -

Border Patrol agents worked furiously to resuscitate the man, who had been lying motionless on the ground for hours, his cousin sitting next to him.

"He's not responding," said one agent into her radio, as she directed paramedics from the Nogales Fire Department to the scene.

The man's cousin said they had been walking for four days. Their coyote abandoned them in the desert, along with the rest of their group. Earlier in the day, the others left these men behind when it was clear one of them was not doing well.

"They got scared, but I decided to stay and try to get help," said the cousin.

Over the past year, the number of illegal immigrants apprehended in the Tucson sector of the Border Patrol's Arizona territory has dropped dramatically. In the year 2000, 616,000 immigrants were arrested here. By 2010, that number had dropped to 212,000. This year, only 123,000 illegal immigrants were arrested in the Tucson sector.

"The things that we're doing, the resources that we're implementing, they're actually working," said Agent Mario Escalante of the Border Patrol.

Escalante said a doubling of the number of agents, the new border fence and technology like remote sensor cameras have all combined to deter immigrants from crossing here.

But the progress comes with a price. The journey has become much more difficult and dangerous for immigrants.

The man found on the ground found that out and paid the ultimate price for his attempt to cross into the United States. Despite the efforts of rescuers, he died shortly after he was found.

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