The U.S. Border Patrol has released a heartbreaking video taken by an agent who was approached by an abandoned 10-year-old migrant boy last week in a Texas desert near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The child is seen sobbing and asking for help, telling the off-duty agent who was on his way home, “They can rob me, kidnap me, I’m scared.”
What are the details?
The video is taken from the perspective of the agent who is seen driving down the road when he sees the boy walking toward him. The agent parks and exits his vehicle, and the boy asks him twice in Spanish, “Can you help me?”
“What happened?” the agent asks, according to translation provided by CNN.
“It’s that I was walking with a group and they left me behind, and I don’t know where they’re at,” the boy cries.
The agent then asks, “You don’t know where you’re at? They left you behind alone?”
And the boy replies, “Of course they left me.”
“They left you behind by yourself?” the agent asks again, “You’re not traveling with your mom or dad or anybody?”
The child, still sobbing, says, “Nobody. I was with a group to turn myself in with you, and they left me behind and I came to look for help.”
“They left you behind and told you to seek help?” the agent asked.
“No,” said the boy, “I came looking because I didn’t know where to go, and they can also kidnap me.”
According to Univision, the footage was first released on social media, and the border agent did take the unidentified child into his vehicle and to safety. The outlet reported that the boy “survived throughout the night in an area of the desert where rattlesnakes and wild animals abound.”
Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Chief Brian Hastings also shared the video with CNN “to underscore the concern over the danger associated with the increase in unaccompanied children” crossing into the U.S.
According to Hastings, “migrant families are ‘self-separating’ in Mexico, sending children alone to cross into the United States after first having been expelled,” the outlet reported.
The abandoned boy was reportedly found April 1, just one day after the Border Patrol released footage of smugglers dropping 3-year-old and 5-year-old sisters from a 14-foot border wall and abandoning them. All three children were taken into U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody for care.