Five undocumented migrant girls, including an infant, were discovered alone in southern Texas near the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday, authorities said.
A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent responded to a call from a Maverick County constable concerning several undocumented migrant children in Normandy, the agency said. The agent later encountered the girls whose ages ranged from 11-months to 7 years old. Three are from Honduras and two are from Guatemala.
Republican Congressman Tony Gonzales, who represents the district where Maverick County is located, tweeted a photo of the young girls. Gonzales also shared a video of a farmer who said he was driving around on Mother’s Day morning when he spotted the girls by themselves.
The farmer said one of the children didn’t have clothes on. He said he called law enforcement and had one of his workers bring the food and water for the girls and get them to shade. “I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” he said, adding the temperature had reached 103 degrees that day.
Customs and Border Patrol said the children did not need medical attention and were taken to Uvalde Station for processing, pending transfer to Health and Human Services custody.
“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin L. Skero II said in a statement Monday. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”
Since President Biden took office, Border Patrol agents have encountered more than 2,100 unaccompanied migrant children who are believed to have left their families voluntarily in order to seek asylum in the U.S., according to government data obtained by CBS News. The continued use of the Title 42 policy has enabled the Biden administration to turn back tens of thousands more migrants.
The Border Patrol data, accessed through a Freedom of Information Act request, offered a small window into a phenomenon that advocates suggest has, in part, been fueling record arrivals of unaccompanied children to the southern border.
Nicole Sganga and Camilo Montoya-Galvez contributed reporting.