U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) credited a quick-thinking Army soldier with saving a migrant child who was abandoned in the Rio Grande River Monday.
The incident unfolded Monday evening when a group of undocumented migrants attempted to illegally cross into the U.S. through the Rio Grande River, CBP announced.
The soldier was helping CBP in the area when he noticed three of the four individuals in the group turn around and head back to the Mexican side of the river after they had been spotted.
The group, however, left behind a young child who was “struggling to get out of the river,” CBP said.
The quick-thinking soldier quickly jumped into action, assisting the young child out of the river and onto the riverbank. (RELATED: Poll: Percentage Of Americans Who Consider Illegal Immigration A ‘Very Big Problem’ Up 20% Since June)
“It is frustrating to me as a parent to see a young child left by smugglers to fend for herself in the swift currents of the Rio Grande River,” Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak said.
“With the aid of technology, the smuggling attempt was detected and a U.S. Army soldier supporting our agents was able to quickly get to the lone child and pull her out of the water to safety.”
The child was later identified as having originated from El Salvador and did not require any medical attention, according to CBP.
Immigration officials arrested or detained more than 172,000 migrants at the Southern Border in March alone, ABC News reported. The number was the largest apprehension of migrants in a single month since the early 2000’s, according to the report. Approximately 60% were reportedly removed.
Data also showed 18,890 of the migrants stopped by Border Patrol were unaccompanied children, according to the report. That number was nearly double February’s numbers, ABC News reported.
Despite the surge at the border, the Biden administration has been reluctant to label the situation as a “crisis” even though half of Americans believed “crisis” was the appropriate word, a March poll from Politico/Morning Consult found.
President Joe Biden recently called the situation a “crisis” but the White House later walked back on that statement.
President Biden, after finishing golf, says refugee cap was linked to the “crisis that ended up on the border with young people.”
“We couldn’t do two things at once. And now we are going to increase the number” pic.twitter.com/LrU2xQeSCR
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) April 17, 2021
“We’re going to increase the number [of refugees allowed into this country]. The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people,” Biden told reporters. “We couldn’t do two things at once. But now we are going to increase the number.”
The White House official later told CNN that there was “no change in position.”
“Children coming to our border seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships and other dire circumstances is not a crisis,” they said.