WARNING: This video contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.
On Wednesday, Border Patrol captured shocking video from New Mexico. The video released shows footage of smugglers abandoning a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old girl at the border in the New Mexico desert in the middle of the night. The children were dangled and then dropped over a 14-foot border barrier onto the desert ground.
The video, released by El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez, shows two smugglers scaling a 14-foot barrier border fence where they proceed to dangle and then drop each child onto the ground and harsh desert surface. The video shows the smugglers tossing what appears to be belongings down to the small children afterward.
The two smugglers are then caught on video fleeing from the southern side of the fence.
Chavez said the young girls were left “miles from the nearest residence.” They were picked up by agents after they were spotted via surveillance technology.
“I’m appalled by the way these smugglers viciously dropped innocent children from a 14-foot border barrier last night. If not for the vigilance of our agents using mobile technology, these two tender-aged siblings would have been exposed to the harsh elements of the desert environment for hours,” Chavez said.
“We are currently working with our law enforcement partners in Mexico and attempting to identify these ruthless human smugglers so as to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” she added.
The U.S. border has seen an influx of unaccompanied children at the border. Currently, single adults and some migrant families can be expelled via Title 42 health protections, but unaccompanied children cannot.
The number of UACs has been rising for weeks, with the administration opening centers in an effort to house them. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) currently has more than 5,000 child migrants in custody, while Health and Human Services (HHS) has more than 11,000.