EXCLUSIVE: Migrant boy, 10, who tearfully sought help from U.S. border patrol agent pleads to stay America in heartbreaking phone call with his uncle as Nicaragua requests to have him deported back
- Wilton Obregon, 10, made world news when a U.S. Border Patrol agent’s bodycam footage was released
- He said he crossed the border with a group and they abandoned him, telling the agent: ‘Somebody could abduct me, kidnap me. I’m scared’
- In a 10-minute phone call with Wilton, his uncle Misael Obregon Leiva vowed to fight for him to stay in the U.S. and reunite the family
- Wilton and his mother were deported in March under Title 42, a pandemic-era policy that expels migrants without them allowing them to apply for protection
- Misael asked him: ‘Would you like to go back to Nicaragua or do you want to come with me?’ The boy answered: ‘I don’t want to go back’
- The uncle, who has lived in Miami for five years, continued to soothe Wilton by saying: ‘Don’t be scared my boy, you are not going to return to Nicaragua’
- ‘I am fighting for you my boy. I’m working on all the paperwork for you to come to me as soon as possible,’ Misael said on the call
The 10-year-old migrant boy filmed sobbing to a Border Control agent who rescued him has pleaded to stay in the United States in a heart-breaking phone call with his uncle in Miami.
Wilton Obregon appeared on the verge of tears at times as he talked to construction worker Misael Obregon Leiva.
The boy could barely be heard amid the background noise of the shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in Brownsville, Texas, where he has been held since being picked up alone on an isolated track.
He made his plea after Nicaragua formally requested the U.S. return him to his home in an isolated mountain region of the country, where his father Lazaro Gutierrez and other family members live.
The battle over the boy came as his kidnapped mother Meylin, 30, was released by the cartel who snatched her and Wilton – and is reported to have crossed the border into U.S. custody.
Wilton Obregon, 10, made world news when a U.S. Border Patrol agent’s bodycam footage was released. In a 10-minute phone call with Wilton, his uncle Misael Obregon Leiva (pictured) vowed to fight for him to stay in the U.S. and reunite the family
Misael asked him: ‘Would you like to go back to Nicaragua or do you want to come with me?’ The boy answered: ‘I don’t want to go back’
Wilton Obregón, a native of Nicaragua, drew appeared in a video crying in front of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and asking for help after he had been abandoned by the group of migrants he had crossed the Mexico-United States border with
The pair were seized in northern Mexico following an earlier attempt to get across in March.
U.S. authorities deported them and they were grabbed for ransom in Mexico within hours. Misael paid $5,000 for Wilton’s freedom with borrowed money, but could not afford the same for his sister.
Wilton and his mother were deported in March under Title 42, a pandemic-era policy that expels migrants without them allowing them to apply for protection
Wilton was then moved back over the border and found wandering alone near La Grulla on April 1. A video of his sobbing made headlines around the world after it went viral.
Misael has offered no details of his sister’s release. In a 10-minute phone call with Wilton, he vowed to fight for him to stay in the U.S. and reunite the family.
He condemned Nicaragua’s actions and tried to bolster Wilton’s spirits with thoughts of life in Miami.
He told him: ‘What the government wants is to use you and take you back with lies. For you to continue suffering there in Nicaragua. Don’t allow the government to take you back there because you are going back to suffer.
‘I am fighting for you my boy. I’m working on all the paperwork for you to come to me as soon as possible.’
Nicaragua’s consul general in Houston, Samuel Trejos, tried to visit Wilton at the Casa Padre shelter run by U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of Health and Human Services.
But he had to make do with a video conference instead due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Mr. Trejos said Wilton was ‘happy to know he was being helped to return to Nicaragua… he wants to hug his father again and his grandmother’.
Misael asked Wilton on the call: ‘I am very surprised why the government of Nicaragua is saying that you said to a man that you want to go back to Nicaragua. Tell me what that man told you.’
Misael Obregón is seen with with his 15-year-old twin sons and his girlfriend. The children were allowed to enter the United States because they were unaccompanied although they had crossed the Mexico-United States border with their aunt and cousin
Wilton Obregón (left) , his mother Meylin Obregón (right) and two cousins left Nicaragua for the United States on February 8 and were expelled by immigration authorities and forced to return to Mexico in late March
Wilton replied: ‘I didn’t say anything.’
Misael, who made a video of the call, then asked: ‘Didn’t you talk to a man through a video call? A man who you don’t know?’
Wilton replied: ‘Yes, a man asked me.’
Misael then said: ‘And what did you say, that you want to go back to your country?’ Wilton’s reply was indistinct due to background noise.
But Misael also asked him: ‘Would you like to go back to Nicaragua or do you want to come with me?’ The boy answered: ‘I don’t want to go back.’
The uncle implored his nephew to refuse to talk Mr. Trejos again. He said: ‘Don’t continue talking with that man because all he wants is to deceive you and take you back to Nicaragua.
‘Tell him that you don’t want to talk to him anymore. You don’t talk to anybody, only with me and your mom. You don’t talk to anybody else. If you want to talk to somebody it has to be with me or your mom. Not with people who you don’t know.
‘You tell him that you don’t want to talk to him. And if he asks you things don’t answer anything. Don’t talk to those people. All they want to do is damage you and return you to Nicaragua to suffer.’
Meylin Obregón (right) abandoned her Nicaragua home with her son Wilton due to the alleged abuse that the father of her two children inflicted on her
At one point in the conversation, Misael does his best to lift Wilton’s spirits, saying: ‘It’s okay my boy don’t be sad. Soon you are going to be out of there.
‘We are doing all the paperwork and you will leave there. Don’t worry about that. We have clothes, shoes for you here, all that you need.’
Misael added: ‘When you leave there, you are going to study here. I know that you are very intelligent and you are going to be somebody important, well prepared and all your dreams are going to come true.
‘Here in this country, everybody is going to support you, the government and everybody. After all you have gone through and all your suffering. You are going to have a better life here than in Nicaragua where that government doesn’t do anything for the poor children.’
Misael was also critical of Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega during the call. Talking about where Wilton would like to end up he said: ‘Nobody can take a decision for you, only you.
‘Not Ortega … only you decide where you feel better, here with me or Dan Ortega has you in Nicaragua. You decide.’
Wilton replies but there is so much background noise Misael can hardly hear what he says. At one point the boy sounds upset and on the verge of tears.
Misael reassured him: ‘As I said, I don’t want you to go back to Nicaragua. I am going to give my life for your studies and all you need.’
The uncle, who has been in Miami for five years, continued to soothe Wilton by saying: ‘Don’t be scared my boy, you are not going to return to Nicaragua.
‘Your decision is the only one that matters. If you say I want to go with my uncle, you are going to come here… I hope it’s God’s will that we will be reunited soon, to hug and protect you and give you love.’
Wilton and his mother were deported in March under Title 42, a pandemic-era policy that expels migrants without them allowing them to apply for protection.
Meylin is now understood to have surrendered to U.S. authorities and claimed asylum following her release by the cartel. She told TV station Unavision she was freed after her captors told her ‘It was not convenient for them’ to continue holding her.
She added: ‘They left me in a lonely abandoned part. From what they (the U.S. authorities) told me they are going to give me asylum.
Misael said when news broke of his sister’s kidnapping, ‘I worried that she’s going to die… that she’s not going to make it through this.’ The cartel called him for the ransom. He said: ‘They threaten to hurt them both, or worse. These people are capable of anything’
After the call to his nephew, jubilant Misael said of his sister being freed: ‘I have the best news in the world, thanks to God.
‘My sister has been liberated, it is a blessing. Thanks to God for this precious and happy moment of my life. I want everybody to know that my sister has been liberated from the hands of the mafia.’
When news broke of the kidnapping, he said: ‘I worried that she’s going to die… that she’s not going to make it through this.’ The cartel called him for the ransom. He said: ‘They threaten to hurt them both, or worse. These people are capable of anything.
Misael’s 15-year-old twin sons made the March border crossing with Meylin and Wilton. They were allowed to remain because they were classed as unaccompanied minors and were reunited with their father on April 6.
Wilton made world news when the Border Patrol agent’s bodycam footage was released. He said he crossed the border with a group and they abandoned him. He told the agent: ‘Somebody could abduct me, kidnap me. I’m scared.’
The boy’s father, a cattle farmer in the mountain town El Rama, has signed off on the request by Nicaragua to have his son return home. This is despite him agreeing to the boy leaving with his mother.
Nicaragua’s Vice President Rosario Murillo said Gutierrez ‘requests the repatriation of his son and the boy also claims to want to hug his father and grandmother’.
Meylin has claimed she tried to get to the US to flee alleged abuse in her marriage. Her other son Delvin remained with his father.
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