A screengrab shows two toddlers being dropped over a border barrier in the desert in New Mexico. Reuters
Two small Ecuadoran girls, three and five years old, were hoisted over and dropped from the top of a 14-foot wall marking the US-Mexican border in the middle of the night before being picked up by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, the agency said.
"On Tuesday evening, a Santa Teresa agent utilizing camera technology observed a smuggler dropping two young children from the top of the approximately 14-foot-high (four-meter-high) border barrier," CBP said in a statement.
The children were taken to a CBP station in Santa Teresa, New Mexico to be evaluated by medical personnel, and then were transported to a local hospital as a precaution. CBP said the girls remain in the agency's custody.
"I'm appalled by the way these smugglers viciously dropped innocent children from a 14-foot border barrier last night," chief patrol agent Gloria Chavez said in a statement.
Chavez said US agents are working with Mexican authorities to identify those responsible.
"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 desert environment for hours," Chavez said.
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President Joe Biden's administration is facing growing pressure to confront the situation and criticisms about how the unaccompanied minors have been cared for while under US government custody.
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