Two young children were left to fend for themselves in the middle of the New Mexico desert after being dropped over a 14-foot border fence on Tuesday (March 30) from Mexico, according to U.S. border police.
Video published by the U.S. Border Patrol shows two young girls being dropped over the fence by two adults, who then run away up a hill on the Mexican side of the border.
In a statement released on Wednesday (March 31), U.S. Border Patrol said that an agent operating the camera had spotted the girls, sisters from Ecuador aged 3 and 5, being dropped alone in the middle of the desert.
The agent then alerted police, who picked up the girls and transported them to Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station where they were medically evaluated and remain in temporary holding.
U.S. authorities are working with Mexican law enforcement to identify those responsible for transporting the girls to the border.
Mexico’s government says people smugglers recommend migrants take children with them on their journey from Central America to make it easier to apply for asylum in the United States.
South of the border wall, migrants told Reuters of their frustrations at being in limbo in Mexico as they seek asylum in the United States.
Tens of thousands of Central American migrants have trekked to the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months. The increase is driven by poor economic conditions in the region, the effects of devastating hurricanes last year, and hope among migrants that they will be allowed to remain in the United States as Biden reverses some of Trump’s restrictive immigration policies.
(Production: Jose Luis Gonzalez, Rodolfo Pena Roja, Paul Vieira)