LA GRULLA, Tex. (NewsNation Now) — Video released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Wednesday shows a 10-year-old boy left alone at the border after he crossed into the U.S. with a group of migrants last week, according to the agency.
In the translated bodycam video provided by CBP, the boy asks an agent for help, saying he was walking with a group of people when they left him behind.
“I was with a group to turn myself in to you, and they left me behind and I came to look for help,” he tells an agent. “I came looking because I didn’t know where to go and they can also kidnap me.”
Another version of the video quickly went viral after it was uploaded to Facebook.
In a statement, CBP said the footage was recorded the morning of April 1 on a rural road outside La Grulla, TX. The boy, who was originally from Nicaragua, was reportedly taken to a border patrol facility and will be transferred into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Similar videos of children being left behind by smugglers at the U.S.-Mexico border have been released in recent weeks, including one which the agency said shows a toddler and 5-year-old from Ecuador being dropped over a 14-foot high barrier.
“Scenes like these are all too common, as smugglers continue to abandon children in desolate areas, with zero regard for their well-being,” the agency said in the statement.
Border authorities encountered more than 9,000 children found crossing into the U.S. without a parent in February, the highest single month since May 2019, when more than 11,000 unaccompanied minors came to the border.
After being processed by the Border Patrol, unaccompanied children are transferred to Health and Human Services until they can be released to a sponsor, usually a parent or close relative.