20,000 migrant children crossed alone through El Paso


The last case was that of a 4-year-old Ecuadorian minor, located on Sep 6th next to the border barrier

With a "ninja turtle" doll in his hands, his Ecuadorian passport and his parents' contact information, a small four-year-old migrant was abandoned yesterday next to the border barrier of the El Paso Sector, where 20,000 children and adolescents migrants have crossed the border alone during fiscal year 2022.

“Smugglers continue to exploit children for profit and have absolutely no regard for their safety! Thank you, El Paso Sector agents for your compassion and continued efforts to rescue vulnerable migrants,” said the El Paso Sector Border Patrol (USBP).

According to the latest figures released by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), during July, Border Patrol agents found an average minor only every 17.8 minutes in this sector, while the CBP personnel processed at their El Paso Field Offices on average one minor every 19 hours.

Of the 2,505 unaccompanied minors found during July by the Border Patrol and the 39 processed by CBP, 1,624 were from Guatemala, 241 from Mexico, 268 from Honduras, 185 from El Salvador, 52 from Ecuador, 21 from Brazil, 19 from from Turkey, 12 from Colombia, six from Venezuela, five from Nicaragua, two from Cuba and one from Haiti, while the rest were from other countries not listed by US authorities.

In order to enter the United States through the El Paso Sector, which includes approximately 432.3 kilometers of border with Mexico, from Lordsburg, New Mexico, on the border with El Berrendo, municipality of Janos, to Fort Hancock, Texas, border with El Porvenir , municipality of Praxedis G. Guerrero, minors must cross the desert, the hills, the border mesh of up to four meters high, the border wall of more than 12 meters high or the Rio Grande (RĂ­o Bravo).

From the hand of 'Rafael'

The Ecuadorian minor was found by Border Patrol agents in the Santa Teresa area, where human traffickers, known as "polleros" or "coyotes", have to break the metal mesh to be able to introduce people or make to climb and then jump to the American side.

With "Rafael", the ninja turtle with the red bandana holding one hand, a camouflage patterned hat to protect himself from the sun, tennis shoes, pants, a long-sleeved shirt and another that peeked out from underneath, the boy was approached by a border agent, who after reviewing his state of health transferred him to their offices.

According to figures released by CBP, in the last ten months, 255 minors from Ecuador crossed the border unaccompanied by an adult, 224 of whom were found by Border Patrol agents and one more who was processed by the CBP Field Office.

The 20,000 migrant minors who crossed the border alone through the El Paso sector during the first ten months of the US fiscal year 2022 (from October 2021 to July 2022), represented an increase of 5.02 percent compared to 18,996 unaccompanied minors registered in the same period of fiscal year 2021.

A total of 19,651 were found by Border Patrol agents when patrolling the border with Mexico and 349 more by Field Office officers during the last ten reported months; while throughout fiscal year 2020, from October 2020 to September 2021, there were 23,228 children and adolescents alone processed; and in fiscal year 2020, October 2019 to September 2020, there were 5,122 unaccompanied migrant minors.

Across the United States, 129,556 unaccompanied migrant minors have been found since last October, according to CBP.

Fiscal Year PF OC Total
2022 19,651 349 20,000
2021 22,906 322 23,228
2020 4,835 287 5,122

PF= Border Patrol
OC= Field Office



by HĂ©rika MartĂ­nez Prado

scalabrinian spirituality 2023


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