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Border Patrol Agents Thursday rescued a four-month-old and 18-month-old child who had been abandoned in the scorching heat of the Arizona desert – an incident authorities used to highlight the cruelty and “heartlessness” of the smugglers.
Smugglers left a baby and toddler to die in the Sonoran Desert yesterday. Tucson area Chief Patrol Officers John Modlin said in a statement. “It’s cruelty. And it’s heartbreaking.”
Modlin praised officers for responding quickly and said the four-month-old baby was found unresponsive when officers arrived at the children.
“Officers discovered the child was unresponsive; luckily we were able to revive her and avert a tragedy,” he said. “The heartlessness of the smugglers cannot be underestimated.”
The rescue marks the latest horrific case of children abandoned at the border by smugglers. Unaccompanied children who are rescued by Border Patrol will generally be transferred to the United States and placed in the care of Health and Human Services. From there, they will be transported across the country and reunited with a sponsor or relative if there is already one in the country.
The practice of abandoning minors was highlighted last year when 5 and 3 year old sisters were rescued in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, after smugglers dropped them along the fence and threw their belongings after them.
Border Patrol agents regularly rescue migrants, adults and children, who become lost or abandoned in the perilous conditions of certain parts of the border. On Thursday, officers in Texas rescued two lost migrant women suffering from severe dehydration. Officers in the San Diego area also rescued two adults, including one unable to walk and abandoned by smugglers.
This is one of the tasks faced by agents, who are faced with a constant influx of migrants into the United States. There were no more than 2 million encounters with migrants during this financial year, already exceeding the historic 1.7 million encountered the previous financial year.
The Biden administration has sought to expand legal asylum pathways and address root causes such as poverty, corruption and climate change in Central America. Republicans and some border officials have blamed the Trump-era Border Security Administration’s rollback and interior execution.
The National Border Patrol Council blamed the administration for the situation involving the two abandoned children – and also said the parents would face repercussions.
“Biden Admin cannot avoid blame for what he is doing to our country and the human misery he is inflicting on the people he encourages to break our laws,” the union tweeted. “Parents of infants and toddlers who entrust them to cartels should be prosecuted for child abuse.”