(NewsNation) — A 2-month-old baby was found by Rio Grande City Border Patrol Agents after being abandoned at the southern border, officials said Tuesday.
Agents reacted quickly in rendering medical aid to the “vulnerable infant,” the U.S. Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector, which covers Southeast Texas, said on Facebook.
Last month, NewsNation reported that the number of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S./Mexico border is the highest it’s been since December 2022. Federal statistics from August showed a 73% rise in unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border compared to June.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is required to provide care for unaccompanied children who are encountered at the border.
Currently, there are nearly 11,000 unaccompanied children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement or Department of Health and Human Services. That’s a significant increase from August, when there were 10,000, and much more than July when there were 7,502 children in custody. According to Department of Homeland Security statistics, there are roughly 383 kids coming over the border unaccompanied per day.
In fiscal year 2022, there were nearly 133,000 migrant children who entered the U.S. government shelter system, according to federal numbers obtained by CBS. That surpasses the previous year’s 122,0000.
Victor Avila, a retired ICE-HSI special agent, said children are oftentimes left behind as a fee to the cartel.
“A lot of these children are being recycled and used to avoid detection or to help get them into the country,” Avila said.