5-year-old migrant boy left screaming as he is abandoned along U.S.-Mexico border in harrowing footage

In a heartwrenching moment, a little 5-year-old boy was left pleading with a couple after they abandoned him along the U.S.-Mexico border. The incident, which was captured on camera last Thursday night near El Paso, Texas, shows the child screaming, “Where are you going?” and “Here, here! No, no! Don’t go, no!” The couple, who is believed to be migrant smugglers, helped the child cross the nearly dry Rio Grande in an attempt to get him to the U.S. The river is infamous for being used by migrants to cross over and enter America. 

Even as the unidentified boy continues calling out to the pair, who are on the other side of the Rio Grande River, they walk away. The child desperately waves at them hoping to draw their attention. Hearing his heartfelt pleas, the woman does return to the child but only briefly. Ultimately, he is left at the border all by himself, clutching a teddy bear in his hand as the couple flees towards Ciudad Juárez. Shortly after the distressing separation, U.S. Border Patrol officers arrive on the scene and talk to the little boy. They are then seen escorting the child away. 

The woman who helped smuggle the boy to the border told AFP that his parents reside in the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has not commented on the situation yet and it remains unclear if the child has been reunited with his family or not. The harrowing incident comes shortly after two other videos emerged in March and April of young kids being left behind along the U.S.-Mexico border. On April 1, El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez shared the shocking footage of the moment when smugglers abandoned a 5-year-old and 3-year-old girl at the border in the middle of the night. 

The smugglers can be seen in the clip scaling the fence before dropping the girls from a 14-foot border barrier onto a harsh surface. “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,” shared Chavez at the time.

Just a week later, two more children, believed to be between the ages of 10 and 12, were rescued by an off-duty Border Patrol officer after being left alone in the desert along the border. “I came with a group, they dumped me and I don’t know where they are,” said one of the minors through tears. “They can rob me, kidnap me. I am afraid,” he said, adding that he spent the night in the desert filled with wild animals and rattlesnakes. “To all the parents who are considering sending their unaccompanied children to the border, please reconsider that act because it is very dangerous to expose children,” warned Chavez in light of the incidents.

These disturbing scenes are just the latest chapter of the ongoing tussle at the southwestern border between U.S. Border Patrol agents and abandoned children as well as individuals and families who are seeking asylum from the United States government. There’s been a huge surge in arrests of undocumented migrants in the past twelve months. In April alone, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained 17,171 unaccompanied children at the southwestern border. In March there were 18,890 unaccompanied kids detained at the border.