Border Patrol on Tuesday released video of a 5-year-old migrant girl wandering alone at the border after being abandoned near the end of the wall -- the latest instance of migrant kids being left to fend for themselves.
Agents in Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector encountered the 5-year-old Guatemalan girl on Monday morning shortly after she had been dropped off near the end of the border wall near San Ysidro.
Agents saw her being abandoned and swooped in and rescued her from the dangerous spot before any harm could come to her.
"Sadly, this is the latest example of how the most vulnerable populations are being exploited for financial gain," Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a statement. "Thankfully our agents encountered this child before any harm could befall her."
Heitke tweeted out an image of the girl being cared for by an agent at a nearby Border Patrol station. She was found to be in good health, and that her parents are already in the United States – although she did not have contact information for them. Many abandoned migrant kids will arrive in the U.S. with the cell numbers of parents or relatives already in the U.S.
The Biden administration has been dealing with a surge in unaccompanied children at the border, with more than 13,000 encountered in April alone. The administration has not been returning unaccompanied children to their countries of origin via Title 42 public health protections and has instead been focused on moving kids to Health and Human Services (HHS) care, before uniting them with a parent or guardian already in the country – often with the taxpayer paying for the travel costs.
There has been a spate of horrifying incidents of small children being dumped or abandoned at the border in recent months, including children being dropped from the border wall by smugglers.
Last month, a video emerged of a 5-year-old boy screaming "don't go!" after being abandoned along the border.
"Here, here! No, no! Don't go, no!" the boy is reportedly heard screaming to the other side of the Rio Grande River.
The latest video comes as Vice President Kamala Harris is on a two-day trip to Guatemala and Mexico as part of her diplomatic efforts to stop the surge in migration at the border. On Monday, she had a stern message for potential migrants: "Do not come."