Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas slammed human smugglers’ treatment of children after someone dropped two girls ages 3 and 5 over the 14-foot border barrier on Tuesday evening.
The sisters from Ecuador were dropped into the United States west of Mt. Cristo Rey in New Mexico and were spotted by CBP camera surveillance. Immediately after the girls landed on the ground, the smugglers fled the area, CBP said. The children were described as alert when CBP agents arrived on scene, were medically cleared and will be transferred to Health and Human Services for placement.
“The inhumane way smugglers abuse children while profiting off parents’ desperation is criminal and morally reprehensible,” Mayorkas said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
“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,” he said. “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.”
“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,” said El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “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.”