Border Patrol Agents Find 3-Year-Old Boy Abandoned in Cornfield
“Early this morning, #USBP Agents found a 3-year-old boy alone and crying in a cornfield in TX. He had his name & phone numbers written on his shoes.”
Last Tuesday morning, US Customs and Border Protection agents found an abandoned 3-year-old boy crying in a cornfield in Texas near the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to officials, the boy may have been traveling with a group of migrants who left him in the field when they saw Border Patrol agents. Officials saw that the child had his name and phone number written on his shoes, and have been attempting to contact his family.
Officials Continue to Try to Locate Boy’s Parents
After the agents found the 3-year-old near Brownsville, Texas, they took him to a border station and let him watch movies while they attempted to reach his family. So far, officials have been unable to find the boy’s parents, and are in the process of putting him in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NBC News reported.
CBP tweeted on Tuesday: “Early this morning, #USBP Agents found a 3-year-old boy alone and crying in a cornfield in TX. He had his name & phone numbers written on his shoes. #CBP is attempting to reach his family. We believe the boy was with a larger group that ran when they encountered Agents.”
The chief Border Patrol agent in the Rio Grande Valley, Rodolfo Karisch, told NBC News that the boy seemed to be “in good spirits.” It is likely that the 3-year-old was abandoned by smugglers, Karisch said.
Border Security ‘At a Breaking Point’
According to some officials, the number of families who cross the U.S. border is growing. In just one night in early March, 700 migrants were taken into custody in El Paso. One of the detainees was an unaccompanied 2-year-old.
Officials are concerned about the increasing number of unattended children detained in cramped quarters. As the numbers rise, HHS is having trouble finding places to put the minors, according to The Washington Post. In March, 1,350 children were held in cells without a guardian, 20 percent of whom were 12 years old or younger.
Although the minors can legally be detained in Border Patrol’s custody for up to 72 hours, they are sometimes held for longer periods of time since HHS often has no place to put them. In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan announced that border security was “at a breaking point.”