A helpless child was placed in custody after smugglers abandoned him on the U.S. border.
On Monday, smugglers left behind an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy at the border bridge that connects Mexico and the United States. He was found by Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the El Paso Port of Entry.
As per Daily Mail, El Paso Port acting director Ray Provencio said:
“The boy told us he was dropped off at the base of the bridge in Mexico by unknown individuals and told to walk until he ran into someone in uniform. Fortunately, he was able to make it to our officers before anything more severe than his abandonment occurred.”
Reportedly, the child was provided medical care and found to be in good health. He was transferred over to a processing center in El Paso. Meanwhile, he was cooperative, and provided the contact information of an adult living in Virginia, believed to be his mother.
The Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement will be responsible for placing the boy in a shelter until he is reunited with his parent.
“This is yet another example of smugglers having no regard for their vulnerable commodity. This should serve as a warning to parents that they should not put the safety and well-being of their precious children in the hands of smugglers.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of migrants were seen arriving at several Mexican border towns looking to seek asylum in the U.S.
Speaking to Reuters, Andrea Morales, a Guatemala migrant, said she is ready to try to enter the United States, hoping to provide a better future for her children.
“I’m going to try. We want to get across the border. I can’t be in Mexico anymore. There’s a lot of violence here… I put my faith in God so I can cross and give my kids a better life.”
However, José García, who runs migrant shelter Movimiento Juventud 2000 in Tijuana, claimed:
“There’s a lot of misinformation. We have explained to them that the reopening of the border is for people who have papers, a visa, to cross and it’s not a reopening for people to cross and ask for asylum and humanitarian aid. They haven’t listened to us and they don’t want to wait.”
Last month, CBP released data showing that Border Patrol agents reported 1.7 million encounters with migrants who crossed the Mexican-American border illegally in 2021 alone. A total of 146,925 of them were unaccompanied children.