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Smugglers abandoned a 5-year-old boy just steps away from the Texas border because they expected his parents to pick him up, leaving the wailing tot to beg them, “Don’t leave,” according to a report.
A man and a woman were caught on cellphone video obtained by Agence France-Presse helping the young boy across the Rio Grande river but then leaving him by a barbed-wire wall at an underpass marking the border between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas, last Thursday.
The couple then turn around and walk back across the river, leaving the boy alone.
The boy, holding a teddy bear, screams amid his sobs, “Where are you going? … No, no, no. Don’t leave.”
The woman told AFP that the child’s parents live in the US and that the boy is from Mexico.
Moments later, Border Patrol agents spotted the child and picked him up.
The video recalls an incident from April when a frightened little boy approached a Border Patrol agent driving by and sought help after he had been left by smugglers in Texas after crossing the border.
“I came with a group. They dumped me, and I don’t know where they are,” the boy says in Spanish as he chokes back sobs. “They can rob me, kidnap me. I am afraid.”
The heartbreaking videos come as the Biden administration still struggles to respond to the crisis at the border caused by unaccompanied children arriving alone.
According to statistics from US Customs and Border Protection, the number of encounters with children at the southern border has climbed 163 percent in the past year, from last March to this March.
The figures also show that Border Patrol agents detained 17,171 unaccompanied children in April, down from 18,960 in March.
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