A scared child, alone in Texas, told a border patrol official last week that he was abandoned by a larger group and was without his parents, video of the encounter showed.
The video, taken Thursday in the Rio Grande Valley, shows the boy sobbing and saying he didn’t know where the group he was with had gone.
Customs and Border Protection said the 10-year-old Nicaraguan boy was found walking alone on a rural road near La Grulla, Texas.
He woke up to realize he had been left behind by a group of migrants he was traveling with, he is safe in a border patrol facility and will be transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services, Refugee Resettlement Office, he said.
The incident comes amid a surge to the border of unaccompanied minors, fleeing conditions in Central America and elsewhere. A record number of unaccompanied children crossed the border in March.
As of Monday, around 19,000 unaccompanied migrant children were detained by the federal government – US Health and Human Services and Customs and Border Protection – according to federal data.
The Biden administration’s policy is to deport migrants, except minors who come alone, which is a change from the Trump administration’s policy of refusing asylum seekers, including children, under a pandemic rule known as Title 42. This has resulted in the detention of children on a crowded border. patrol stations far exceed the legal 72 hour limit.
President Joe Biden has said there is a seasonal increase in migration, and he also blamed the Trump administration in part for neglecting Central America and the fundamental issues that drive migration and for what it is. said to be a dismantling of migrant management systems.
Biden said most of those arriving at the border were turned away. “The only people we’re not going to let sit alone on the other side of the Rio Grande without help are the children,” he said late last month.
At the end of last month, officials said smugglers dropped two young Ecuadorian children, aged 3 and 5, over a 14-foot-high fence along the border between the New -Mexico and Mexico.
The girls were left alone and rescued by the border patrol. Officials including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas expressed outrage and said the incident showed child abuse at the hands of smugglers.
On Monday in California, Border Patrol said it rescued two children, a 6-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl, who were dumped on a rocky area on the border and left.
The foundlings near Jacumba had a handwritten note that included their mother’s name and phone number and also had the same information written on their forearms, Customs and Border Protection said.
“It is unacceptable that anyone who abandons these young children, and those responsible for smuggling events like this will be aggressively prosecuted,” Chief Patrol Officer Aaron Heitke said in a statement.