COLUMBUS, N.M. (AP) - It was a busy night for officers stationed at a U.S. border checkpoint in New Mexico, where three women in labor turned up for help in a matter of hours.
Tony Hall, the head of the Columbus port of entry, commended the officers for their quick response early Thursday to what was described as a series of unexpected medical emergencies that needed immediate attention.
"Service to the community is a (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) core value although it is not usually associated with assisting in the birth of child, or in this case multiple children," Hall said.
Authorities said Friday it's unusual but not unheard of to have a mother deliver a baby at a border port of entry. However, rarely does that happen twice and almost three times in a matter of hours.
The first two women arrived within 30 minutes of each other. In one case, a Mexican ambulance had transported one of the women to the border. CBP officers noticed that birth was imminent and provided an obstetrical kit to the Mexican medical technicians to use for the emergency delivery. The baby was born several minutes later.
A U.S. ambulance crew was able to transport the second woman before she gave birth, and the last woman arrived before 5 a.m., only to drop to the sidewalk and go into delivery. CBP officers helped deliver the baby girl. The mother and newborn were brought inside the port of entry and monitored until an ambulance crew arrived to transport them to the hospital.
The Columbus port of entry is about 80 miles (129 kilometers) west of El Paso, Texas. The region earlier this year saw a surge of tens of thousands of migrant families cross the border. The numbers have since dropped as a result of several policies making it nearly impossible to gain asylum in the U.S.