U.S. Border Patrol (CBP) agents rescued a three-year-old girl who had been abandoned by a smuggler on Tuesday, July 10. According to CBP’s press release, the Hidalgo Port of Entry alerted the McAllen Station in Texas to a report of illegal aliens hiding under a bridge. When agents got there, a woman came forward, stating her daughter had been left behind and she wasn’t sure where the child was at the time.
The mother said the guide – well, smuggler – took her across the river first. The plan was for him to go back and bring the little girl over afterward. However, she said the last she saw of the two, they were floating down the river and she wasn’t sure if they had ended up in Mexico or the U.S.
Agents searched for and found the three-year-old wandering a street near the river by herself. The smuggler was allegedly seen swimming across to Mexico. The girl was unharmed and returned to her mother.
This was the same area where Border Patrol agents recently arrested MS-13 gang members for alleged sex crimes against children. The Texas-Mexico border is a very active location for illegal crossing and gang activity, as we can see from just a week of reports:
- July 5: Weslaco agents arrested a Honduran national who had a previous conviction for sexual assault of a child and who had already been ordered removed from the U.S.
- July 5: near Hidalgo, Texas, Weslaco agents apprehended a Salvadoran national who claimed to fear being deported to his country, but during processing it was confirmed he was a member of the MS-13 gang.
- July 6: A Mexican man near Rio Grande City was arrested trying to enter the U.S. illegally. He had a prior conviction for having sex with a minor.
- July 7: Kingsville agents arrested a Salvadoran national near Sarita, Texas who was a MS-13 gang member.
- July 8: Weslaco agents arrested a Mexican man near Progreso, Texas who was linked to the Zetas cartel and also convicted for his involvement in the murder of a Mexican national.
- July 8: A group of 15 illegal aliens tried to circumvent the checkpoint south of Sarita and during processing it was discovered one of them was a Mexican national and a member of the 18th Street gang.
CBP reported that from October 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, the Rio Grande Valley Sector had rescued 1,157 people. That is a staggering 53% increase when compared to last year. With all the hype about separating families, what do you suppose would have happened to the little girl had U.S. Border Patrol not been there to rescue her and return her to her mother? Coming over to the U.S. illegally is dangerous. Parents put their childrens’ lives in danger when they make the decision to cross the border, but scream at the holy injustice of separating them from their children when they get here illegally. While the separation is a traumatic experience, watching your child drown in a river or get sexually abused or shot by gang members would be more devastating. They knew the risks when they chose to cross illegally, including the likelihood of being separated, and still they chose to do so. A brief separation while the child is in temporary foster care doesn’t seem as inhumane as the other alternatives.