CALEXICO (CBSLA) – Surveillance video shows a 7-year-old girl this week being lowered by a smuggler over a 30-foot fence at the California-Mexico border in Imperial County, federal authorities said.

Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

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According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the incident occurred just before 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, about two miles west of the Calexico Port of Entry.

Agents monitoring a remote video surveillance system noticed a man with a small child “clinging to his back” being lowered down a rope ladder on the U.S. side of the border fence.

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The man, who agents believe to be a smuggler, appeared to tell the girl to walk north before abandoning her and going back over the fence to the Mexico side, CBP reports.

Agents approached the girl, a 7-year-old from El Salvador, and took to the El Centro Sector Processing Facility. It’s unclear if her family was being smuggled with her.

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“No one, let alone a child of any age or race, should be exposed to the multitude of dangers when crossing illegally into this country” said Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino in a statement Tuesday. “Smugglers will always view children as a commodity to gain a profit, disregarding the safety and well-being of any individual except their own.”