Yareli, 3 years old, was the first to be thrown from the wall. His sister, Yasmina, just two years older, was the second to be dropped on US soil from the top of the border fence with Mexico by a coyote hired by her father.
Now, the girls’ family asks the president, Joe Biden, that they can meet with their parents. “That they help us, that these two innocents are together with their parents, so that they can give them love themselves,” said Manuel Macas, maternal grandfather of the minors.
They migrated from Jaboncillo, a small town in the mountains of Loja, in southern Ecuador. Her parents, Yolanda Macas Tene and Diego Vacacela Aguilar, also from that community, had recently immigrated to the United States and wanted to reunite with their daughters there.
In the room of Yareli and Yasmina in the house of the paternal grandfather in Jaboncillo there are still some dolls stained with soot, stuffed animals and clothes that belonged to the girls.
“[Los papás] they wanted to be with them, their mother suffered a lot, for that reason they decided to take them “Lauro Vacacela, grandfather of the minors, told Noticias Telemundo.
Lauro Vacacela assured that he does not know with which human trafficker his son spoke to take his granddaughters or how much the trip cost. And it is a subject that causes him anguish.
[“En inmigración no nos dejaron hablar”. Así fueron devueltas estas madres a México]
“Yeah, it can be a bit risky, so to speak,” she said when asked if she was concerned that her son and daughter-in-law had paid someone to cross their granddaughters across the border in this way.
Yareli and Yasmina’s parents have already managed to communicate with themsaid Lauro Vacacela.
“Maybe if they had been with me, they wouldn’t have gone there,” said her aunt Rosa Macas. He felt a deep pain when he saw them fall from the wall, for he considered them as his own daughters. The maternal family was unaware of the girls’ journey and his departure was a surprise for them.
The Ecuadorian girls are safe and in good condition in a processing center in El Paso, Texas, as confirmed by Gloria Chávez, head of the Border Patrol in that sector.
Her story illustrates the dangers unaccompanied minors run on their journey to the United States.
The Biden Administration has decided not to immediately deport unaccompanied minors, although it has warned several times that migrant adults and families will be returned to Mexico expeditiously as long as the border remains closed due to the COVID-19 health emergency.
The shocking images of Yareli and her sister Jasmín falling from the top of the wall have been widely shared on social networks, at a time when the Government faces great difficulties in housing and processing the arrival of thousands of children who travel to the border without their parents.
[Madre busca a sus dos hijos que cruzaron solos la frontera]
The Biden Administration has sought to address this crisis by expanding its capacity to house minors and trying to reduce processing times. To do this, it has installed hundreds of new beds, including in convention centers and old oil fields in the southwestern states of the country.
In March alone, more than 18,500 unaccompanied minors entered the southern border, an increase of more than 60% from the previous record in May 2019.