Two Toddlers Dropped Over a 14-Foot Barrier Fence Into the U.S.
Photo by Greg Bulla via Unsplash
Two girls, ages 3 and 5, were dropped from a 14-foot barrier on Tuesday night between the Mexico-New Mexico border by smugglers, officials say.
Footage of the incident shows the two young girls being dropped over the barrier by two men, who return to the Mexico side of the border and run off, leaving the children behind. El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez posted the video on Twitter.
“I’m appalled by the way these smugglers viciously dropped innocent children from a 14-foot border barrier last night,” Chavez said.
The toddlers were dropped into the New Mexico desert, miles away from civilization. After they were rescued, the girls were taken immediately to a hospital to be examined and medically cleared.
Border Patrol called the event the “work of human smugglers,” while a sector chief said it was appalling and vicious. The head of the Department of Homeland Security said this kind of abuse is “morally reprehensible.”
The children are two sisters from Ecuador. Border Protection said they were dropped over a border barrier west of Mt. Cristo Rey in New Mexico, near El Paso.
The smugglers worked in the middle of the night to avoid being seen, but a border agent videoed the event on a phone using night-vision technology.
“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 the desert environment for hours,” Chavez said in a statement.
CBP spokesperson Roger Maier said the area of New Mexico where this took place is a busy corridor for human smuggling on the U.S.-Mexico border. Maier said there is no doubt this was human smuggling.
“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,” Chavez said.