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Border Patrol agents have rescued an unaccompanied four-year-old boy who was abandoned by “ruthless” smugglers at the southern border — the latest instance of agents rescuing children who have been abandoned in perilous conditions.
El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez announced that agents in Santa Teresa had located the little boy, who was abandoned by what she called “ruthless smugglers.”
Chavez said that the boy had been found with his passport and his parents’ contact information.
“Over 19,651 unaccompanied children have been encountered this FY22,” she tweeted.
The rescue marks the latest child to be abandoned by human smugglers. Unaccompanied children rescued by Border Patrol will typically be processed into the United States into the care of Health and Human Services. From there, they will be transported across the country and united with a sponsor or parent if one is already in the country.
Last month agents rescued a four-month-old and 18-month-old in Arizona.
“Yesterday smugglers left an infant and a toddler in the Sonoran Desert to die,” Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agents John Modlin said in a statement. “This is cruelty. And it is gut-wrenching.”
Modlin said that the four-month-old infant was found unresponsive when agents got to the children.
“The heartlessness of smugglers cannot be underestimated.”
Border Patrol agents regularly rescue migrants, both adults and children, who get lost or abandoned in the perilous conditions at parts of the border.
Border Patrol agents rescued 37 migrants last week as they tried to cross the Rio Grande river into the U.S. However, 13 other migrants have since been confirmed dead in the attempted crossing, where waters can be dangerous.
Last month, two children died in separate drowning incidents as they tried to cross the Rio Grande. One, a five-year-old Guatemalan girl, was swept out of her mothers arms by the raging waters, the New York Post reported.
Border Patrol have conducted 18,897 rescues this year compared to 12,833 in FY 21 and just over 5,000 in FY 20. There have been more than two million migrant encounters this fiscal year, including nearly 200,000 in July alone.