The body of a six-year-old girl was found near the remote and deserted U.S -Mexico border, believed to be dropped there by human traffickers, was found by the U.S Border Patrol on Friday, June 14. The US Border Patrol has released a statement regarding the deceased. Gurpreet Kaur, who was a month shy of turning 7, was found by the US Border Patrol officials 27 kilometers west of Lukeville, Arizona on Wednesday, when the temperature reached a high of 42 Celsius, the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner said. Gregory Hess, Pima County Chief Medical Examiner, identified the girl and said that her death was accidental and caused by hyperthermia.
The number of immigrants trying to illegally enter the U.S is on an all-time high as two more missing Indian nationals were located by the U.S Border Patrol near the U.S-Mexico border on Friday night. A mother and her eight-year-old daughter surrendered to the U.S agents after they crossed the border back into the American side. Both of them were taken to a local hospital where they were treated for dehydration.
On surrendering to the agents, the two women revealed that they were traveling with human smugglers along with four others and they were dropped close to the border and were asked to cross over by foot. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents got the information after encountering two women from India, who explained how they came to the US and that three others, a woman and two children, got separated from them hours earlier, the agency said in a statement. There is no information about which Indian state the two women hail from, however, Republic has contacted U.S Border Patrol officer Robert Daniels and is yet to receive a response.
Agents pursued the smugglers via helicopter and spotted footprints that indicated that they had crossed over to Mexico. After walking for a while, the deceased's mother along with another woman had gone in search of water, leaving her daughter with another woman and her child.
"Once they went to look for water they never saw them again," said US Border Patrol Agent Jesus Vasavilbaso. The six-year-old Gurpreet's body was found a few hours later.
"Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family," Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal said. "This is a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk", he added.
The numbers of Indians crossing the US borders from Mexico is on a steady rise, according to immigration officials. Thousands of Africans and Asian migrants try to cross the border illegally as they take the risky journey led by smuggling cartels.
U.S President Donald Trump has been avidly trying to get the Congress to agree to build a wall along the border and has also threatened to close the borders from time to time to curb illegal immigration. However, Congress has been reluctant to fund the project.
In 2018, 8,997 people from India were apprehended at the Southwest border, thrice more than in 2017, when 2,943 Indian migrants were apprehended.
India is just below Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in the number of people trying to illegally cross over.
(Inputs from PTI)