2 Girls Dropped Over U.S. Border Wall To Be Reunited With Mother
U.S. Border Patrol officials said agents rescued two young children Tuesday night after smugglers dropped the children from the top of the border wall in a remote area west of El Paso.
A Border Patrol agent operating a camera pointed at a section of the barrier just west of El Paso spotted the two young girls, ages 3 and 5, as they were dropped from the top of the 14 foot wall. Border Patrol released a video showing the smuggler on the wall dangling the children before dropping them one by one. The older girl quickly stands up after she lands on the ground. The younger girl sits for a while before getting on her feet. The individual on the fence also tosses a small bag to U.S. side of the border with the children. The video then shows two men quickly leaving the area on the Mexican side of the barrier.
Smugglers, under cover of night, scaled a 14 ft. border barrier and cruelly dropped 2 young children in the middle of the New Mexico desert. The girls, ages 3 & 5, were left miles from the nearest residence. Thank you STN Agents for rescuing these children! @CBP @CBPWestTexas pic.twitter.com/U91y2g8Lk1— Gloria I. Chavez (@USBPChiefEPT) March 31, 2021
The children were alert when agents arrived at the scene in a remote desert area of Santa Teresa, New Mexico just west of El Paso according to a statement from Border Patrol.
“If not for the vigilance of our Agents using mobile technology, these two tender-aged siblings would have been exposed to the harsh elements of desert environment for hours,” said El Paso Border Chief Patrol Chief Gloria Chavez.
“We are currently working with our law enforcement partners in Mexico and attempting to identify these ruthless human smugglers so as to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
They were taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation and released. The young girls are sisters from Ecuador according to Border Patrol. Chavez told local television station KVIA, their mother has been located in the United States and the goal is to reunite the sisters with her. The small bag tossed over the border fence with the children contained their passports and a cell phone according to Chavez.
The children were released to Border Patrol station and scheduled to be transferred to a Department of Health and Human services shelter for migrant children.
The little girls are among a growing number of children and teenagers, many from Central America, crossing the U.S.-Mexico border alone, about 9,400 in February according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The majority arrive at the border with a smuggler paid for my a relative in the U.S. Many of the young children are coming to the U.S. to reunite with parents.
“The inhumane way smugglers abuse children while profiting off parents’ desperation is criminal and morally reprehensible,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
"(In March alone) a young girl died by drowning, a 6-month-old was thrown into the river, and two young children were dropped from a wall and left in the desert alone."
In the statement condemning smugglers, Mayorkas also called Border Patrol agents “heroic” for saving lives this week and every week.
This story was produced by KTEP.