Border official: Crisis makes it one of the most dangerous times to be a Border Patrol agent

Border Patrol Law Enforcement Operations Chief Brian Hastings said Friday that risky attempts to illegally cross the border make it one of the most dangerous times to be an agent.

"The family units that are coming across are putting those kids in harm's way, specifically down in the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio, and across the entire southwest border," Hastings told Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on "Rising."

"In those two areas, we're specifically seeing a lot of those water rescues, which not only endanger their lives, but they endanger our agents' lives," he said.

Hastings detailed the water rescues that have taken place during what the Trump administration has labeled a migrant crisis at the southern border.

"We have had 2,500 rescues this year," he said. "About 400 of those are water rescues where agents have put their own lives on the line, jumped into a fast-moving current to save children, or to save adults, or to save those that are in distress, and that's on a daily basis."

Hastings, who has worked in border security since 2005, said he cannot remember a time when it was more dangerous to be a Border Patrol agent.

"We see time and time again where our agents risk their lives to save those that are in danger," he said.

Hastings's comments came a day after President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE unveiled his new immigration plan. The proposal would address the physical and legal framework of the immigration system in the U.S. 

— Julia Manchester