An 8-year-old boy was dropped off at an El Paso port of entry on the Mexican side of the border and told by an unknown person to continue walking on the bridge until he was stopped by someone in a uniform, officials said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found the unaccompanied Guatemalan boy about 6 p.m. Monday at the international boundary marker at the top of the Paso del Norte international bridge, CBP officials said.
“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,” CBP El Paso Port Director Ray Provencio said in a statement. “Fortunately he was able to make it to our officers before anything more severe than his abandonment occurred.”
Officers took the boy into the port for processing and a medical examination.
The boy was medically cleared and determined to be in good condition, officials said.
Officers were able to contact a woman in Virginia believed to be the boy’s mother, officials said.
The boy was transferred to the Border Patrol Centralized Processing Center in El Paso and later turned over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for further processing and placement, officials said.
CBP officers notified the Guatemalan Consulate regarding the incident, officials said.
“This is yet another example of smugglers having no regard for their vulnerable human commodity,” Provencio said. “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.”