US Border Patrol agents said an abandoned 5-year-old girl was among a group of illegal immigrants stranded on an island in the middle of the Rio Grande by human traffickers.
The 10 immigrants, most from Venezuela, were left high and dry at Eagle Pass, Texas, on the US-Mexican border over the weekend, CBS affiliate KTVT-TV reported Wednesday.
The Border Patrol’s Eagle Pass Station Riverine Unit was alerted to the situation and brought the group to safety — bringing the girl to her worried mother, the outlet said.
“Human smugglers are cold and calculated, often separating families for their own convenience or to gain compliance,” Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Robert Danley said in a statement to the outlet.
“Thankfully our agents acted quickly and were able to locate the young girl and reunited her with her mother without incident,” Danley added.
The immigrants were not harmed and were taken to a border processing station.
The incident comes as US Customs and Border Protection officials reported an influx of illegal immigrants crossing into the country from Mexico.
The agency said more than 164,000 immigrants were detained at the border last month — the highest monthly total in 21 years.