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Two Toddlers Dropped from 14-foot Barrier into U.S., Officials Say

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Two Ecuadorian toddlers, ages 3 and 5, were dropped over the border barrier west of Mt. Cristo Rey, New Mexico.

What We Know:

  • In a video released Wednesday, a U.S. Border Patrol Agent spotted a person near the barrier. The person began to lower the children one at a time until they eventually dropped them. The two children got up after falling. Then, Two men bolt from the barrier in the recording.
  • It was reported that the agent watching the scene called Santa Teresa border officers to go out and find them. The youths were located just west of El Paso, Texas, where they were alert but taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Since then, they have been medically cleared. They are staying at a Border Patrol temporary holding facility awaiting placement by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
  • The Border Patrol claims this is the work of human smugglers, an act that is “morally reprehensible,” according to Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Roger Maier noted that the area where this event occurred is one of the busiest passageways for human smuggling on the U.S.-Mexico border. He mentions that they are confident it was smuggling because families with children usually enter as a group and surrender to officials.
  • El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez says agents are working with Mexican law enforcement to identify the criminals and “hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” She says if it weren’t for her officer’s use of mobile technology, the siblings would have been exposed to harsh desert environments for a longer period of time. Additionally, she posted the clip on Twitter.
  • The incident happened while the Biden Administration tries to accommodate a daily influx of migrants. In some scenarios, parents are opting to send their children across the border alone with the hope they will be placed with family members already in the States.

Holding facilities are currently at maximum occupancy along the border, and the administration has to look for temporary housing options. However, smugglers are continuously dropping off children at the border, thus exacerbating the situation.

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