On Tuesday night, two young toddlers were dropped over a 14-foot-tall barrier into the United States at the New Mexico border before being rescued, according to officials.
On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement regarding the incident, stating that it was a life-threatening situation that involved “two female tender-aged toddlers mistreated and abandoned by human smugglers just west of Mt. Cristo Rey.”
Using filming technology, a Santa Teresa agent reportedly saw “a smuggler dropping two young children from the top of the approximately 14-foot-high border barrier” on Tuesday night. The two smugglers quickly left the region after discarding the girls on the northern side of the border.
The statement confirmed that the camera worker told agents working in Santa Teresa about the incident and helped them get to the remote area where it happened. “Responding agents found the three-year-old and five-year-old Ecuadoran children and rendered aid to them. The two toddlers are sisters and both were alert when agents made contact with them,” per the report.
The children were then taken to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station to be evaluated by medical professionals. The report stated, “Agents contacted Emergency Medical Services and the toddlers were transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons and further evaluation. The two girls were medically cleared and currently remain in Border Patrol temporary holding pending placement by Health and Human Services.”
“I’m appalled by the way these smugglers viciously dropped innocent children from a 14-foot border barrier last night. 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,” El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez said in the statement. “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.”
On Wednesday, Chavez released a tweet with a video of the incident that shows two smugglers running from the scene as soon as they drop the young children over the border barrier.
Chavez wrote in the tweet, “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!”
The footage contains material that may be disturbing to some viewers.
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 incident comes as the Biden administration is facing criticism for its handling of the migrant crisis at the border. Lawmakers have specifically pointed to the poor handling and mistreatment of children once they make it to America.
Tragedies are not uncommon as children and teens attempt to come to the United States, sometimes by way of human traffickers. Last week, a 9-year-old child drowned while attempting to cross the border via the Rio Grande.
The Daily Wire reported:
The agents attempted to save the life of a 9-year-old child from Mexico before handing her off to the Eagle Pass Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services. The statement confirmed, “The child remained unresponsive and was pronounced deceased by medical professionals.”
According to the New York Post, officials stated that the two children were Mexican nationals, and the mother was from Guatemala.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this small child,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin L. Skero II in the release. “During these hard times our agents remain resilient, and I am extremely proud of their efforts to preserve human life.”
This week, the Department of Homeland Security stated that it thinks almost a million people will try to come into the United States at the southern border in the next few months “as part of a wave of ‘family groups’ seeking asylum in the United States — a new problem that could constitute the ‘second wave’ of the current migrant crisis,” according to Daily Wire reporting.