U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Paso Del Norte international crossing in El Paso took custody of an eight-year-old boy just before 6 p.m. Nov. 8. The unaccompanied Guatemalan child was encountered by CBP officers at the international boundary marker at the top of the PDN bridge.
“The boy told us he was dropped off at the base of the bridge in Mexico by unknown individuals and told to walk until he ran into someone in a uniform. Fortunately he was able to make it to our officers before anything more severe than his abandonment occurred,” said Ray Provencio, acting El Paso Port Director.
CBP officers brought the child into the port for processing. He was medically cleared and determined to be in good physical condition.
During processing CBP officers were able to make contact with an individual in Virginia believed to be his mother. Following processing he was transferred to the Border Patrol Centralized Processing Center in El Paso. He will then be remanded to Health and Human Services for further processing and placement.
CBP did notify the Guatemalan consulate regarding the incident.
“This is yet another example of smugglers having no regard for their vulnerable human commodity,” said Provencio. “This should serve as a warning to parents that they should not put the safety and well-being of their precious children in the hands of smugglers.”