Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
Three pregnant women in labor arrived at the Columbus port of entry in this New Mexico border town early Thursday, and two mothers delivered their babies at the facility. An ambulance took the third woman to a nearby hospital, where her baby was born.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers provided assistance to all the pregnant women who arrived in the span of a few hours, turning the border crossing into a virtual maternity ward.
“Service to the community is a CBP core value although it is not usually associated with assisting in the birth of a child, or in this case multiple children,” Columbus Port Director Tony Hall said in a statement. “I commend the officers involved for their quick response to a series of unexpected medical emergencies that needed immediate attention.”
The first woman arrived at the port of entry at 1:25 a.m. in an ambulance from Mexico. CBP officers immediately called emergency medical services in the U.S., “but the baby girl would not wait,” according to CBP.
Officers provided an obstetrical kit to Mexican emergency medical technicians who delivered the baby at 1:33 a.m. Emergency medical services arrived soon afterward and took the mother and newborn to Mimbres Memorial Hospital in Deming.
At 1:57 a.m., another pregnant woman in labor arrived at the port asking for help. Emergency medical services arrived before the baby boy was born and took the mother to the hospital in Deming.
At 4:39 a.m., a third woman in labor arrived from Mexico at the port of entry.
“As a CBP officer was requesting assistance, the woman dropped to the sidewalk and went into delivery,” according to CBP. Several CBP officers with an obstetrical kit arrived and helped deliver the baby girl on the spot.
CBP officers took the mother and newborn inside after the birth and monitored them until emergency medical services arrived at 5:08 a.m. and took the woman and her baby to a hospital in Deming.
“It is unusual but not unheard-of to have a mother deliver a baby at a border port of entry,” CBP said. It is rare for three mothers to give birth at a border crossing in a matter of a few hours.
All three mothers are Mexican citizens, according to CBP. Any baby born on U.S. soil is automatically a U.S. citizen. Such children have been at the center of a heated political debate over “anchor babies” in recent years. Some mothers cross the border to give birth in the U.S., and others arrive on flights from foreign countries to deliver their babies.