Authorities close to the Rio Grande River on the Mexican side of the border rescued a unaccompanied four-year-old boy originally from Honduras, in the latest example of the risks migrant children face when brought along to enter the United States illegally.
The young boy was headed in the direction of the US border in a densely forested area on the outskirts of Reynosa, Mexico, a city opposite from McAllen, Tex., that has been a hotbed of brutality, according to Reuters.
A band of three mothers and six children was also discovered in a nearby area, but the women denied knowing who the boy was.
The migrant women and children, who all came from Honduras, were seen by authorities running to hide in the trees while a flyover of the area was taking place.
The unattended boy, whose name was not given, is only one of the thousands of underage children who have somehow made the journey from Central America or Mexico to the US border since Joe Biden was sworn in as president in January.
The swarm of thousands of children has exhausted the federal border facilities and epitomizes a growing dilemma for the administration that seems to show no signs of slowing down.
A Border Patrol agent made comments about the treacherous excursion the undocumented immigrants, including many minors, make to the US border in an interview with the press this week.
Oscar Escamilla, who serves as the acting executive officer for the Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, highlighted the overcrowded conditions for children in US government facilities and told the story of one young girl who was unable to speak after being the victim of a gang rape.
“About a month and a half ago, I was back here talking to one of the little girls, you know, and I told the congressional delegation just the same thing,” he told reporters.
“We were going to send her to the hospital. And as I got closer to her, I noticed that she couldn’t speak. And I asked the medical staff what happened. And the reason she was going to the hospital was because she had gotten gang raped. And the reason that she couldn’t speak was because she had lost her voice in the process while she was getting raped. Those things hit hard.”
Mexico’s government has confirmed that human traffickers suggest migrants take children with them on their travels from Central America to make it easier to become eligible for asylum in the United States.
Even the Biden White House seems to be bracing for an influx of minors at the US border, saying the number of minors could rise to 26,000 a month in September, eclipsing the 16,000 crossing into the US this month, according to Axios, citing leaked documents.
However, publicly the White House’s position is very different. When questioned about the migrant rush at his first press conference last Thursday, President Biden said “nothing has changed” at our border.
“It happens every single, solitary year: There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. That happens every year,” he stated.
But workers at the border are telling a different story:
“These kids cross by themselves. Obviously, the parent pays a fee to the smuggler. The cartel member or the smuggler at this point will bring the kid over, will bring him to the river, will hand him over to the raft, will place them in a raft and say, ‘OK, go.’ When you get to the other side, they’ll explain to them there’s going to be an officer. They’ll explain what we wear and tell them. ‘Turn yourselves into them,’” Escamilla said.
He added: “They’ll tell you that they don’t have their parents. There’s a little girl that I talked to a little while ago. She said that she had lost her mom and that she doesn’t have a father. So she’s coming into this country because her uncle is going to be the sponsor.…And I asked her, ‘What state are you going to? What’s your final destination?’ She said, ‘I don’t know. All I know is it snows there. It’s all I know.’”