Border Teen Shares Brief Glimpse Into Crossing

Image: Border Patrol
A seventeen-year-old Guatemalan youth, who was apprehended after crossing the border into the U.S., is drinking from a water bottle held by a U.S. border patrol agent.Janet Rodriguez / Telemundo

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SULLIVAN CITY, TX -- It was the hottest time of day in Texas, easily over 100 degrees. The border patrol agent came out of the brush along highway 83 near Sullivan City with this young man in handcuffs. He wouldn't tell me his name but just his age, 17, and that he was from Guatemala

"I spent a month in Mexico waiting to cross," he said, only to be detained by US authorities shortly after he crossed illegally into the US-Mexico border. His intention was to reunite with "some" family in the U.S.

That dream disappeared when he was spotted by a single Border agent about 5 miles north of the Rio Grande.

When he was caught traversing the unforgiving terrain, the teenager was hungry and dehydrated.

Having no provisions to offer the boy, the Border patrol agent asked if I had water. I shared a bottle along with a pineapple pastry. The officer compensated for the handcuffs by putting the bottle to the boy's lips and guarding the pastry in the front pocket of his blue jean. The boy complied when the agent instructed him to sit on the ground while they both waited for a van from an immigrant holding center. Right before he was escorted the 100 feet to the open door, the teen had a look that I'm sure even haunts the border agent.

"I am so sad," the young man told me, looking me straight in the eyes. "I will probably never make it to where I'm supposed to go".