With media finally being granted access to at least one border facility in Donna, Texas, Americans are getting a closer look at the humanitarian crisis taking place at the border. The facility was originally intended for 250 individuals but is now holding more than 4,000 people—most of which are children. One border official told media outlets about the tragic stories of sexual abuse he’s hearing from some of the children. Others are lucky to have been spotted by border officials in the first place.
Border Patrol released a video on social media outlets Wednesday that gave Americans a better look at the harrowing journey parents are putting their young children through to get to the U.S.
In the video, smugglers scale a 14-foot border fence and drop two young girls, aged 3 and 5, on the ground, throwing their belongings afterwards and then running away. It was night in the New Mexico desert and these children were abandoned “miles from the nearest residence,” according to El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez.
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
Agents were able to pick up the children after they were spotted through surveillance technology.
"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," Chavez said. "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."
In a statement, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the smugglers' treatment of children is "criminal and morally reprehensible."
“The inhumane way smugglers abuse children while profiting off parents’ desperation is criminal and morally reprehensible. Just this month, a young girl died by drowning, a six-month-old was thrown into the river, and two young children were dropped from a wall and left in the desert alone," he said. "There can be no doubt that children are exceptionally vulnerable when placed in the hands of smugglers. There is grave risk they will be exploited and harmed. I applaud our heroic Border Patrol agents who have saved lives this week and every week, while putting their own lives at risk for the greater good of the country.”
Critics on social media placed the blame squarely on Biden's border policies.
This is so much worse than "kids in cages." If not for our heroic border patrol agents, these kids could have died. I don't understand how there is not more outrage over President Joe Biden's immigration policies that are encouraging smugglers to throw kids over 14-foot walls. https://t.co/Wza1jYaMbr— Kelsey Bolar (Harkness) (@kelseybolar) March 31, 2021