Nearly 9,000 unaccompanied children detained at the border in March…
(AFP) U.S. border patrol agents found a crying 3-year-old boy in a Texas cornfield on Tuesday with his name and a phone number written on his shoes, the US Customs and Border Protection agency said Wednesday.
The boy was “abandoned” by a group of suspected illegal immigrants who had crossed into the United States from Mexico near Brownsville, Texas, the CBP said.
“As agents attempted to intercept the group, the suspected illegal aliens scattered in the overgrown field,” the CBP said in a statement.
The boy, who was “alone and crying,” was discovered during a search of the field and taken to a local hospital, where he was found to be in good condition, it said.
The toddler is being taken care of at a centralized processing center and will be turned over to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, the CBP said.
Efforts to locate his family have so far been unsuccessful.
The move is likely to bolster the criticisms coming from the White House and Department of Homeland Security that loopholes in the current immigration policy—contrary to Democratic claims that they help provide humanitarian relief—actually pose a danger to society’s most vulnerable, encouraging families to embark on a dangerous mission that is successful only by violating U.S. law and sovereignty.
DHS has said many on the journey succumb to illness, sexual and physical abuse at the hands of predators, and some are even inducted into slavery.
A year ago, President Donald Trump briefly implemented a policy of detaining children and parents separately, with the hope of deterring one such loophole that requires children to be held no longer than 20 days, along with any accompanying family members.
While Democrats blasted the policy as inhumane, they largely glossed over the Obama-era policies that encouraged parents to leave unaccompanied minors at the border.
According to the CBP, border patrol agents apprehended 92,607 people along the southwest border in March, up from 66,884 in February.
Among those apprehended in March were 8,975 unaccompanied children.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the United States would send armed soldiers to the southern border after Mexican soldiers recently “pulled guns” on US troops, escalating his war of words with Mexico on immigration.
Trump, who has made the immigration the core of his message to his conservative base, also said on Twitter that “a very big Caravan of over 20,000 people” is making its way through Mexico toward the United States following reports of Mexican officials who two weeks ago described it as the “mother of all caravans.”
© Agence France-Presse