Shocking video shows smugglers lower a 2-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy down by a rope over a 30-foot section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall early Thursday.
Around 3:15 a.m., Customs and Border Protection cameras observed a total of three adults and two children going over the wall 3 miles west of the Calexico West Port of Entry, CBP officials stated.
The footage shows a man being lowered down the border wall with a rope followed by another man with a "small child clinging on to his back," CBP said. A third adult, a woman, holding onto another child was then lowered by the smugglers, CBP officials said in a press release.
The CBP camera operators saw three smugglers provide a ladder to climb the fence on the Mexican side of the wall and a rope that was used to lower each adult down the border wall into the U.S.
"Smugglers often use this tactic to minimize their own risk of injury," Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino said in a statement. "They are willing to put others in jeopardy, including children, even when they won't risk themselves."
#Danger 🚨USBP cameras capture the moment smugglers endanger 2 young lives. Watch as a 2yr old & 6yr old are lowered from the 30ft border wall becoming yet another example of how smugglers have no regard for human life. The children are now safe w/ mom.— USBP Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino (@USBPChiefELC) April 24, 2021
Agents took the three adults and two children into custody and they were transported to the El Centro Station Processing Center, officials said. Agents determined that the children and their 32-year-old mother were all undocumented individuals from Venezuela, CBP said.
The other two adults were a 28-year-old man and a 31-year-old man, both undocumented individuals from Venezuela who had no relation to the mother and children. CBP shared a photo that appears to show the mother with the two children.
"These heartless, greedy smugglers continue to endanger the lives of undocumented individuals for money," Bovino said. "We were lucky that the mother and her two children, as well as the other two men, were not dropped from the 30-foot border wall."
Earlier this month, disturbing video emerged showing smugglers dropping two children — a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year old girl -- from a 14-foot border fence into the U.S.
A border agent captured that incident on cellphone video camera using night-vision technology showing the two unaccompanied migrant children, sisters from Ecuador, being dropped over the wall near Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
The girls were both "alert" when agents found them, CBP said at the time.
Those girls were reunited with their parents in New York City on April 17, Ecuador's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility told ABC News.
A steadily rising flow of migrants trekking north from Central America has sparked a humanitarian crisis near the U.S.-Mexico border, posing an early challenge to the Biden administration.
As of Friday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported there were 23,444 children in CBP custody and Department of Health and Human Services care.