Border Patrol Agents Find Child, Alone With Name Written on His Shoes
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents found a 3-year-old migrant boy by himself in a cornfield near the Mexico border on Tuesday, April 23. In a statement posted on Twitter, CPB said patrol agents found the boy alone and crying in a cornfield between the Texas and Mexico border with his name and a phone number written on his shoes.
“#CBP is attempting to reach his family. We believe the boy was with a larger group that ran when they encountered agents,” the agency tweeted. The agents reportedly took the child, who was found in the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, Texas, to a US border patrol station and are trying to contact his parents by using the number on his shoes, NBC News reported. The agency told the news station they have been unable to reach his family, and are in the process of transferring the child to be cared for by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Rudy Karisch, the chief Border Patrol agent in the Rio Grande Valley, told NBC News he believes that the boy was part of a larger group and was left by smugglers. The agents reportedly encountered the group, and the adults ran away, leaving the child behind. At the border station, the boy watched movies and appeared to be in good spirits, Karisch told the news station. The North Star has reached out to CBP for an update on the boy but did not hear back in time for publication.
CBP announced in April that more than 53,000 immigrant families were apprehended in March after crossing the border — the highest number of apprehensions recorded in a month, BuzzFeed News previously reported. In March, there were a total of 103,492 people apprehended by border patrol agents and 92,607 of those people were arrested between ports of entry, according to BuzzFeed News.
The agency wrote in a tweet earlier this month it “experienced a rapid increase in family units and unaccompanied children, who make up 62% of Southwest border apprehensions.” The agency also noted that the apprehension of families has increased “nearly 375% compared to the same time period last [fiscal year].” "The Border Patrol is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis," Brian Hastings, Border Patrol chief of law enforcement operations, told BuzzFeed News. "We're seeing record numbers of apprehensions, large groups, and high numbers in custody and we've arrived at a breaking point."
Two children died in border patrol custody in December. Jakelin Caal Maquin, a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala, reportedly died due to "a rapidly progressive infection" in a detention center, NBC News reported. Felipe Gómez Alonzo, an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala, also died of the flu while in Border Patrol custody, according to The Washington Post.
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.