The toddler sisters who were cruelly dumped over the southern U.S. border wall and abandoned by human smugglers have been released from Border Patrol custody.
Three-year-old Yareli and sister Yasmina, five, were released on Monday and placed in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, a federal official told WATE-TV.
‘A case worker from HHS will begin to work with them. Most of the time they reach out to family members for interviews and vetting to make sure there’s a safe place for the child,’ said a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman.
‘Most of the time they try to place them with a family member – a parent, an uncle or somebody else. And if that’s not available, they try to place them in foster care,’ the spokesman said.
Three-year-old Yareli and sister Yasmina, five, were released from CBP on Monday on Monday and placed with ORR. They are seen above with El Paso Sector Chief Gloria Chavez
The sisters hope to join their parents in New York. Their father Diego Vacacela Aguilar is seen alone left and right with their mother, Yolanda Macas Tene
Footage release by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows a human smuggler (top) climbing over the Mexico-United States border wall in New Mexico after dropping two sisters from Ecuador, aged 3 and 5, over the steel barrier
The sisters could soon be reunited with their parents in New York City, an official with Consulate of Ecuador in Houston told DailyMail.com last week.
The case shocked the world after surveillance video footage released by Border Patrol showed the moment when a human smuggler dropped Yareli, three, and her five-year-old sister Yasmina over the 14-foot high border wall in New Mexico on March 30.
Another smuggler was waiting on the American side to catch the girls, who were then tossed to the ground. Both smugglers then fled, abandoning the children.
The surveillance camera operator immediately alerted Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station agents and directed them to the remote location.
The girls’ mother, Yolanda Macas Tene, and father, Diego Vacacela Aguilar, had left their Ecuadorean home not long before, relatives said, and were awaiting their daughters in New York City.
Their paternal grandfather, Lauro Vacacela, told Telemundo from the family’s hometown of Jaboncillo that the couple were desperate to be reunited with their children.
Lauro Vacacela, grandfather of the girls, spoke from the family home in Jaboncillo, Ecuador
Rosa Macas, aunt of the two toddlers is seen above. She had telephone contact with the mother in New York, who sent for the girls to be delivered to the US after recently entering
‘Their parents really wanted to be with them, and the mother was suffering immensely, so they sent for them,’ he said.
The family comes from a community of indigenous people in the south of Ecuador.
Neighbor Luz Macas told Telemundo affiliate Hoy Dia that people pay smugglers between $17,000 to $20,000 to get them across the U.S. border illegally.
The girls had lived with Vacacela, and their brightly-painted pink bedroom still had all their toys and clothes.
Vacacela did not know how the girls arrived at the border, or how much was paid to the people traffickers, known as ‘coyotes’.
Asked if he was concerned, he replied: ‘Yes, it can be rather risky, you could say.’
The family comes from a community of indigenous people in the south of Ecuador, where people pay smugglers between $17,000 to $20,000 to get them across the U.S. border
Parents Yolanda and Diego, with daughters Yareli and Yasmina, lived in this wooden home. The parents entered the US recently and then sent for the girls to follow
The girls’ maternal aunt, Rosa Macas, said she was horrified when she saw what happened to the two.
‘Maybe if they had been with me, they would never have left,’ she said.
Manuel Macas, their maternal grandfather, begged Joe Biden to allow the family to be reunited in New York.
‘Help us – let these two innocent girls be with their parents in New York, so they can be loved’ he said.
Magdalena Núñez told DailyMail.com that Consulate of Ecuador officials had a chance to speak with the girls via a videoconference call last Monday.
‘The girls are in excellent health,’ she said in phone interview.
Data released Thursday shows the number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is vastly higher in 2021 compared to 2020, which saw a decrease in crossings. Crossing have reached an all-time high under Biden
The number of migrants crossing into the United States has skyrocketed to the highest levels in at least 15 years, it emerged this week, and record numbers of teenagers and children arriving without parents have overwhelmed the government’s ability to care for them.
Vice President Kamala Harris was placed in charge of the situation three weeks ago, but has yet to visit the border.
U.S. agents took more than 171,000 migrants into custody last month, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures.
Last month, CBP took in more than 18,800 unaccompanied minors – a 99 per cent increase from February and a figure far above the previous one-month high of 11,861 in May 2019.
President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services is spending $60 million a week to house the child migrants in 10 shelters across the country.