Ecuadorean migrant sisters, aged 3 and 5, who were dumped over U.S.-Mexico border wall by smuggler, finally reunited with their parents in New York
- Ecuadorean sisters, three-year-old Yareli and five-year-old Yasmina, were reunited with the parents in New York on Saturday
- The girls were captured by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection surveillance camera being dropped from a border wall in New Mexico on March 30
- Humberto Jiménez, Ecuador’s consul general in Chicago confirmed to DailyMail.com the girls were in custody of CBP for 13 days
- Yareli and Yasmina were then transferred to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement’s center in Chicago
- Jiménez declined to comment on the children’s asylum process
Two Ecuadorean sisters who were caught on a security camera being dumped over the United States-Mexico border wall by smugglers have been reunited with their parents.
Three-year-old Yareli and five-year-old Yasmina were back with their parents Saturday.
Surveillance camera footage released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows a smuggler dropping each girl over a 14-foot high steel barrier on March 30 in New Mexico.
Border Patrol then directed agents to the remote location where the children were rescued.
El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez provides snacks to the two girls from Ecuador who were abandoned by human smugglers and dropped over a 14-foot high border wall in New Mexico on March 30. The girls were reunited with their parents in New York on Saturday
Yolanda Macas (left) and Diego Vacacela (right) were reunited with their daughters on Saturday. Vacacela’s father told Univision that she became increasingly worried about being separated from her daughters after she and her husband left the girls behind when they migrated from Ecuador to the United States several years ago before deciding to hire a human smuggler to ferry their children across the U.S.-Mexico border last month
Humberto Jiménez, Ecuador’s consul general in Chicago, told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that Yareli and Yasmina were in CBP custody for 13 days.
They were transferred to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office in Chicago April 13 before they were reunited with parents Diego Vacacela and Yolanda Macas.
According to the Ecuadorean government, the children met up with their parents in New York.
‘We were in contact with the Resettlement Office and two other agencies were in charge of the matter, and also with the parents of the minors. The family reunification took place Saturday per the ORR’s order,” Jiménez told Spanish news agency EFE.
Jiménez told DailyMail.com that he could not provide additional details behind the reunification. The parents have been living in the New York area since migrating from the western Ecuador city of Jaboncillo years ago.
‘They have asked us for privacy and at the request of the parents, we had direct contact, but very limited,’ Jiménez said.
He also declined to comment on whether the children already had applied for asylum. He could not confirm if the parents are legal residents of the United States.
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 last Tuesday
The girls’ paternal grandfather, Lucio Vacacela, told Univision, that Macas became distraught separated from her children. The parents agreed to hire human smugglers to ferry the girls across U.S.-Mexico border.
Yareli and Yasmina left Ecuador for Mexico on March 27, accompanied by their grandmother Rosa Delfín and their uncle Ángel Vacacela.
Three days later, the two smugglers were captured on camera at the southwestern border dropping the children onto U.S. soil.
The whereabouts of Delfín and Vacacela remain unknown.
The number of migrants unlawfully entering the United States has risen to record levels, according to data released by CBP on April 8.
Border Patrol agents apprehended 172,331 migrants in March after stopping 101,028 people in February. The 70% increase is a 20-year record high.
The agency also reported 18,663 unaccompanied children were taken into custody in March, a 99% increase from the 9,271 migrant minors who were stopped for illegally crossing the United States from Mexico in February.