Border officials released their second video this month showing smugglers dropping a child over into the U.S. from Mexico, highlighting the dangers facing migrant children at California’s southern border.
In the most recent incident, a 2-year-old was released from atop an 18-foot-tall section of border wall in San Diego County near Imperial Beach, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release.
The grainy video was captured after midnight Sunday, officials said. Unlike in the incident involving two young girls earlier this month, it appears two adults stacked themselves on the U.S. side to help capture the child.
The child seen in Sunday’s video was not hurt, authorities said.
Border agents conducting video surveillance in the area spotted what happened, responded to the location and arrested the group, CBP said.
Officials later determined the child and father are Ghanaian citizens who aren’t authorized to be in the U.S.
For immigrant advocates, scenes like this underscore why immigration laws need to be overhauled with a focus on unifying families and making legal immigration easier. For many opponents of such reform, scenes like this are confirmation that the nation’s rule of law isn’t being respected, that a reform of immigration policies could never even be contemplated while such things are happening.
Many are children traveling alone. Border authorities encountered more than 9,000 children without a parent in February, the highest single month since May 2019, when more than 11,000 unaccompanied minors came to the border.
Unlike their parents in many situations, all unaccompanied minors are allowed to stay in the U.S. That dynamic has prompted many parents to either send kids on the journey to U.S. alone, or get to the border and let them go the rest of the way. Most end up at least temporarily in shelters that are currently way beyond capacity.