Border agents discovered an unaccompanied 4-year-old girl from El Salvador who had been sent across the U.S. border by human smugglers on Monday.
The lone toddler was found among a large group of illegal aliens who were rafted across the Rio Grande.
A total of 36 migrants were apprehended by Border Patrol during the early morning operation.
“The group consisted mostly of family units and unaccompanied children,” Customs and Border Protection explained in a statement. “During the initial encounter, agents attempted to identify everyone in the group and in the process discovered a four year old Salvadoran child who was traveling alone.”
“In her possession, agents discovered a hand written note with contact information for a parent in the United States.”
Authorities say they contacted the parent, who turned out to be the girl’s father.
He claimed the girl had been abandoned by her mother prior to entering the U.S.
After an examination, it was determined the child was unharmed did not require further medical attention and she was processed according to protocol.
Former immigration judge Andrew R. Arthur has presented four likely scenarios for how the child was placed in such a predicament in an article published by the Center for Immigration Studies.
1) The mother “abandoned” her child when she released the toddler to the care of the smuggler. (2) The child was “abandoned” by her mother and other family members subsequently trusted her to criminals to bring her to her father in the United States. (3) The child was “abandoned” by her mother and her father paid to have a smuggler bring her to the United States. (4) There was an agreement between the mother (presumably in El Salvador) and the father in the United States to have the child smuggled to this country.
In October, four migrant children under the age of eight were found shivering and wet on the banks of the Rio Grande. They had been deserted there by human smugglers.
Contact information for persons residing in the U.S. was found written on their clothes.
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Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst