SANTA TERESA, N.M. — Authorities say two young children were dropped from the top of a 14-foot-high barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday evening.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released video of the incident Wednesday, which was captured by a Santa Teresa agent near Mt. Cristo Rey, New Mexico.
CBP says the agent utilized a night-vision camera to capture the moment two people dropped the 3-year-old and 5-year-old girls on the U.S. side of the border, abandoning them north of the international boundary line.
The camera operator then alerted other agents and directed them to the remote location, where officers found the two children were located and rendered aid to them.
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
CBP says the girls are sisters from Ecuador and they were both alert when agents made contact with them.
The girls were then transported to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station to be evaluated by medical personnel before being transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons and further evaluation.
The girls were medically cleared, and they currently remain in Border Patrol temporary holding pending placement by Health and Human Services.
El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez says her team is working with its law enforcement partners in Mexico to identify the people who dropped the children, so they can be held accountable.
“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,” stated Chavez.
This incident comes as the White House struggles to provide enough space to house the many unaccompanied minors that are seeking asylum in the U.S. from Central American countries.