A 10-year-old boy abandoned near the Mexico border told patrol officers he was “afraid” as he begged for help in a newly released video.
The boy can be seen sobbing to officers as he explains that he had travelled to Texas without his parents in a group of migrants.
He woke to find himself completely alone and was discovered walking on a rural road in the hope of finding help, officials said on Wednesday.
“I was with a group of people and they dumped me and I don’t know where they are,” the boy said after being found in the Rio Grande area.
“I’m afraid,” he added.
“I came looking because I didn’t know where to go, and they can also rob or kidnap me or something.”
A record number of unaccompanied children crossed the border in March and at least 19,000 are currently in custody, according to federal data.
Numerous reports have emerged of children being abandoned in desolate and dangerous areas by smugglers after crossing the border.
Officials released footage of two girls, aged three and five, being dropped over a 14ft border fence into the New Mexico desert in late March.
On Monday, two children were found in California carrying a handwritten note with their mother’s name and phone number.
The information was also printed on their forearms, according to the US Customs and Border Protection.
“Scenes like these are all too common, as smugglers continue to abandon children in desolate areas, with zero regard for their well-being,” a spokesperson for the US Customs and Border Protection.
The incidents come against the backdrop of President Biden’s policy of allowing unaccompanied minors into the country, a significant relaxation of the tough immigration restrictions imposed by Donald Trump.
Migrants and children were returned to Mexico during Mr Trump’s tenure, while a hugely controversial policy saw parents forcibly separated from their sons and daughters after crossing the border illegally.
Children are now arriving at levels beyond the Health and Human Services Department’s ability to house them.
A crisis is thought to be brewing at the border as all signs point towards a worsening situation.
“It is a stressful challenge. That’s why, quite frankly, we’re working as hard as we are, not only in addressing the urgency of the challenge but also in building the capacity to manage it,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during a press briefing early last month.
President Biden blames the surge on Mr Trump’s failure to tackle root problems that drive migration, as well as for dismantling the systems in place to help them after arriving in the US.
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