Press Release | June 25, 2019

Soldiers rescue two migrants from waters on U.S. border

NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

Two U.S. Army Soldiers rescued two migrants from canal waters on the U.S. border in El Paso, TX, June 20.

The two Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, who are part of a Mobile Surveillance Team assisting Customs and Border Protection on the Southwest border, saw a migrant family enter the canal. They observed a woman and her child start to struggle in the water and then submerge completely.

Staff Sgt. Michael Mathews jumped into the water to rescue the woman and her child, while 1st Lt. Samuel Mueller used his shirt as a makeshift lifeline until CBP agents arrived and threw them a rescue line.

“My Team Leader reacted decisively and without hesitation,” said Mueller. “He jumped into the canal in full uniform and boots to help a woman and her child in need.”

The Soldiers and CBP safely recovered the migrants and no injuries were reported. 

“I'm glad the woman and her child are okay. I think it was a great victory for the joint U.S. Army-CBP team,” said Mathews.

“Though we have very specific instructions to ensure CBP forces are in the lead to interact with immigrants crossing the border, I made it clear to my soldiers that they are authorized in every case to help when they feel human life is at stake,” Lt. Col. Will Canda, commander 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment.

DoD support to CBP is led by U.S. Northern Command with U.S. Army North as the forward operational command for the Southwest Border support mission.

For more information on the migrant family, please contact CBP El Paso Sector.