Heartbreaking encounter highlights crisis at US-Mexico border

A 10-year-old boy asked a border patrol agent for help after he said was abandoned by the migrant group he was traveling with. He was taken to a child detention center in Donna, Texas.
2:13 | 04/06/21

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Transcript for Heartbreaking encounter highlights crisis at US-Mexico border
southern border. A young boy, alone, in tears, approaching a border patrol agent, telling him he'd been abandoned by his group and was scared. Tonight, reports more than 19,000 my grant children are now in U.S. Custody, and our chief national correspondent Matt Gutman just back from the border on this again tonight ch. Reporter: Tonight, the fear etched on that 10-year-old's face. And the hurt in his voice. "Can you help me" he asks a border patrol agent who found the little boy, that solitary figure wandering on a barren field near the u.s./mexico border in southern Texas. Through the tears, the boy says he wasn't traveling with his mom or dad, he was abandoned, ditched, in his words, by the migrant work he was traveling with. Reporter: Sobbing, the boy telling the agent he was scared of getting robbed, or worse, kidnapped. Reporter: Thankfully he was found by authorities and reportedly taken to this child detention center in Donna, Texas. We just returned from Texas after flying over that same facility, now rapidly expanding to handle the thousands of additional migrant children and teens expected. ABC news has learned there are now over 19,000 migrant children in federal custody. And the Donna facility, recently so crowded that children were forced to take turns sleeping on the floor. And Matt Gutman with us from L.A. County tonight, where officials, I know, are setting up a massive new faciity there to house migrant children, as well. And ma, you're learning more tonight about that young boy? Reporter: Border officials, David, tell me that they are assured that he is now safe and they are working him through the system. They believe that sometime in the next few weeks he will be handed over to family members here in the United States, but David, that is a process that is on average lasting more than five weeks, so still a long road ahead for that little boy. David? Matt Gutman live in California tonight. Matt, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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