A smuggler helping illegal immigrants cross into the United States from Mexico dropped a two-year-old Ghanaian child from atop an 18ft wall into the arms of the father who was waiting below.
Dramatic video footage taken by the US Border Patrol shows a group of people climbing over the wall along the boundary near Imperial Beach, California, just outside of San Diego, after midnight on Sunday.
Surveillance footage shows several individuals scaling the wall. At one point, a two-year-old child was dangled from atop the barrier.
The child was then dropped into the arms of the father below. There were no injuries.
A short time later, Border Patrol agents arrested the group. The agency did not specify how many people were involved.
‘This event could have been catastrophic,’ Border Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke told KGTV-TV.
‘It is not only unlawful but inherently dangerous to cross the border anywhere outside of a designated port of entry.’
It was later learned that the child and the father are citizens of Ghana.
In 2019, American and Mexican officials reported a record number of African migrants arriving at the US border.
In all of fiscal year 2018, a total of 211 African migrants who were detained by the US Border Patrol along the entire 2,000-mile frontier with Mexico.
The next year, US border authorities arrested more than double that number in one week alone.
In 2019, Mexican authorities reported that they had detained more than 7,000 migrants from Africa who were seeking to eventually cross into the US.
A large number of these migrants were from war-torn countries including Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia.
They are coming to America after flying across the Atlantic Ocean to South America and then embarking on an often harrowing overland journey.
The explosion in immigration to the US from sub-Saharan Africa coincides with a steep drop in the migration flow across the Mediterranean to Europe after European countries and two main embarkation points – Turkey and Libya – decided to crack down.
From January 1 to June 12, 2019, only 24,600 migrants arrived in Europe by sea, compared to 99,600 over the same period in 2017, according to the International Organization for Migration.