Photos and captions by Pat Shannahan/The Arizona Republic. Photos printed with permission.
Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue [Borstar] agent Lance Dehler helps walk Nageli Contreras to safety after rescuing her from a wildfire eight miles north of Mexico. She was part of a group from Puebla, Mexico that entered the United States illegally. June 2006.
A group of undocumented immigrants walk in a line towards a Border Patrol vehicle after being caught a few miles north of the border. The group was spotted by a Border Patrol helicopter. The pilot then guided agents on foot to the group’s location.
Border Patrol agent Ruben Salcido tries to give water to an unconscious woman found under a tree south of Three Points, Arizona. She was left behind by a group of people crossing the border from Mexico to the United States. She was a few days walk from the border when overcome by the heat. Despite every effort by the medical team, they were unable to save her. June 2004.
Archeologists discovered this young woman’s skeleton on a military bombing range in southwestern Arizona about 40 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border in November 2003. She rested in a shallow grave, marked by a creosote cross and a pink rosary.
An undocumented immigrant drinks water after being rescued in the Arizona desert. Border Patrol agents worked through the afternoon into the night to find the group that used a cell phone to call for help once they realized they were lost. Agents said the group was out of water and would probably have died the following day had they not been rescued.
Along the Arizona border, agents find a distressed, undocumented immigrant in the desert. Many die here from heat exposure and dehydration in temperatures that can easily top 100 degrees.