The Ecuadorian immigrant parents of two children dropped over the U.S.-Mexico border wall are in touch with their kids again, after the family hired coyotes to smuggle them across, Telemundo reported Monday.
Three-year-old Yareli and her sister, 5-year-old Yasmina, were dropped over the 14-foot wall in New Mexico by human smugglers paid by their father. The footage captured by Border Patrol shows the children being dropped before being rescued by agents from what the agency described as “a potentially life-threatening situation.”
The children were initially sent to Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station in New Mexico for medical evaluation and are now, according to Telemundo, “safe and in good condition” in El Paso, Texas, at a Customs and Border Protection processing center.
U.S. Border Patrol Agents rescued two toddlers who smugglers dropped from the top of a barrier approximately 14 feet high, before fleeing the area.
The minors were transported to a hospital for evaluation and are now in Border Patrol temporary holding. https://t.co/1TEQ91uSeK pic.twitter.com/WP5kxvllrb
— ABC News (@ABC) March 31, 2021
Lauro Vacacela, the girls’ grandfather, told the American-Spanish outlet that their parents, Yolanda Macas Tene and Diego Vacacela Aguilar, who are already in the United States and paid smugglers to bring their children, have already been able to communicate with the girls. The family is now pleading for President Joe Biden, who halted the deportation of immigrant minors, to reunite the children with the parents.
“Help us, that these two innocents are together with their parents, that they may give them love themselves,” the kids’ maternal grandfather Manuel Macas told Telemundo.
Biden’s 100-day deportation freeze, however, was temporarily suspended by a U.S. District Court judge in Texas.
The new administration now faces the worst immigration crisis at the southern border in decades after the president’s rollback of Trump-era policies provoked a flood of illegal entry overwhelming law enforcement. In March alone, CBP officials reported crossings reached their highest levels in more than 20 years, with more than 172,000 migrants having crossed.
Unaccompanied migrant children, meanwhile, are being crammed into crowded detention centers far exceeding even pre-pandemic capacity, characterized as Nazi concentration camps under the Trump administration. Thousands of children have been kept beyond the 72-hour legal limit as the immigration surge continues to overwhelm operations.
Biden spent months leading up to the election and immediately after telegraphing a commitment to open borders through a halt of construction on the border wall, reinstatement of Obama-era protections for illegal aliens, and an end to the Remain in Mexico statutes. Human smugglers have found the Biden immigration policies particularly lucrative in an industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
“I’m appalled by the way these smugglers viciously dropped innocent children from a 14-foot border barrier last night,” El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez said in a press release. “If not for the vigilance of our Agents using mobile technology, these two tender-aged siblings would have been exposed to harsh elements of desert environment for hours.”