ROMA, Texas — As a group of Central American migrants celebrated their arrival to the United States, one said she found a seven-year-old girl abandoned along the way. The young girl told Breitbart Texas she had no idea where her parents were. She clung to the woman who found her as they marched out of the darkness along the riverbank.
The woman and the unaccompanied migrant child were brought into Roma by human smugglers in Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas. For hours, smugglers ferried migrants across the river and into the hands of Texas Army National Guard. The smugglers operated openly and without fear with two rafts.
The video shows jubilant migrants who say their journey was hard but were thankful to be on U.S. soil. After the family members told Breitbart Texas where they were from, one woman said the child was found en route.
The child said she does not know the whereabouts of her father or mother.
The soldiers stationed along the river are the only force protecting the most vulnerable members of the migrant groups crossing–the unaccompanied children. The troops ushered in nearly 400 during the night. They work closely with the Border Patrol, and likewise, are equally overwhelmed by the volume of illegal crossings that have become a nightly event.
On the day of this interview, residents and visitors attended a rally to bring attention to child trafficking and exploitation in nearby McAllen, Texas. More than 132,000 unaccompanied migrant children have been encountered by the Border Patrol this fiscal year, a nearly 300% increase over last year.
Border Patrol agents told Breitbart Texas the child will be processed and turned over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Once processed, the child will be and taken to one of many HHS child detention centers opened to absorb the increase in children crossing the border.
As of Friday, there were more than 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children in custody of HHS and Customs and Border Protection.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.