NEW YORK - Border Patrol on Wednesday released a shocking video of smugglers abandoning a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old girl at the border in the New Mexico desert in the middle of the night -- after dropping them over a 14-foot border barrier.
The video, released by El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez, shows what she said was two smugglers scaling the fence and dropping each child onto the ground and harsh surface, before tossing what appears to be some belongings down after that.
The two smugglers then are seen fleeing from the southern side of the fence.
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Chavez said the little girls were left "miles from the nearest residence." They were picked up by agents after they were spotted via surveillance technology.
"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," Chavez said.
"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," she added.
The Biden administration has been scrambling to deal with an influx of unaccompanied children at the border. Currently, single adults and some migrant families can be expelled via Title 42 health protections, but unaccompanied children cannot.
The number of UACs has been rising for weeks, with the administration opening centers in an effort to house them. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) currently has more than 5,000 child migrants in custody, while Health and Human Services (HHS) has more than 11,000.