- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Smugglers pushed a 5-year-old girl and six-year-old boy across the border in California then abandoned them, according to Border Patrol agents who saw it happen in real time Monday and rushed to rescue the children.

The children were alone and crying when agents reached them.

They did have their mother’s name and phone number written on a handwritten note, and etched on their arms in marker — a common tactic used by parents who send their children on the trip north, figuring correctly that the U.S. government will help deliver the children to their final destination.

Agents said they saw a man and woman carry the children up to the border near where the border wall ends up against the side of a mountain. The couple lifted the children over some boulders and left them on the U.S. side.

“It is unconscionable that anyone would abandon these small children and those responsible for smuggling events like this will be aggressively prosecuted,” said Aaron Heitke, chief patrol agent for the San Diego sector.

The children, since they arrived without a parent, are deemed Unaccompanied Alien Children or UACs, in government-speak. They will be transferred to shelters run by the federal Health and Human Services Department, and will probably be placed with sponsors here in the U.S. — likely the very relatives the mother was sending them to reunite with.

Also Monday, agents in Texas rescued a family of three from the waters of the Rio Grande near Del Rio.

The mother, father and two-year-old child were struggling to swim the river in strong winds and currents.

Agents pulled them from the water, then headed to another call for help from 20 migrants trapped on an island in the middle of the river.

Border Patrol agents record thousands of rescues each year, though this year is already shaping up to be a memorable one amid the migrant surge.

Last week agents rushed to assist two children, ages 3 and 5, who were dropped by smugglers from the top of the 14-foot-high border wall in New Mexico.

The smugglers fled back into Mexico.

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