San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents found a five-year-old girl wandering along a dangerous section of the border with Mexico. Human smugglers abandoned the child along the Tijuana River canal.
Agents working the border near San Ysidro, California, observed a small child abandoned after being put across the border on Monday, according to information provided by San Diego Sector Border Patrol officials. The child began to walk north away from the international boundary line.
Agents said the young girl walked toward a dangerous border area along the Tijuana River canal. A team of agents responded to prevent any further danger to the child.
The agents questioned the five-year-old girl and identified her as a Guatemalan citizen, officials reported. They removed the girl from the dangerous area and took her to the Border Patrol station for processing.
Medical staff at the Border Patrol station examined the girl and determined her to be in good health.
The little girl told agents her parents are somewhere in the United States but she had no contact information. She also said she has a seven-year-old cousin who is still in Mexico.
— Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke (@USBPChiefSDC) June 8, 2021
Border Patrol officials contacted the Guatemalan and Mexican consulates to advise them of the situation. They also contacted U.S. Health and Human Services to take custody of the little girl.
“Sadly, this is the latest example of how the most vulnerable populations are being exploited for financial gain,” San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a written statement. “Thankfully our agents encountered this child before any harm could befall her.”