DPS Director Silbert moved by hug from young migrant boy at Yuma border

Dec 10, 2021, 2:04 PM
Heston Silbert, right, at a Wednesday press conference in Yuma (Twitter Photo/@DougDucey)...
Heston Silbert, right, at a Wednesday press conference in Yuma (Twitter Photo/@DougDucey)
(Twitter Photo/@DougDucey)

PHOENIX — Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Col. Heston Silbert said he was moved by a hug from a young migrant boy during a press conference held near the border in Yuma on Wednesday.

The child walked up to Silbert and embraced him in the middle of media availability led by Gov. Doug Ducey, who was addressing a surge of migrants coming to Yuma in recent days.

Silbert told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Friday the moment was unexpected.

“He walked a little closer and I saw him and he walked through everybody and for some reason he walked up to me,” Silbert said. “There were several people there, but he walked up to me and he put out his hand and gave me a hug.

“That kind of rocked me a little bit.”

Silbert said the boy was one of thousands crossing from Mexico into the U.S. at the Yuma border.

DPS has been working with Border Patrol and the Yuma County Sheriff’s Department to help monitor the border.

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls proclaimed a local emergency Thursday, saying the surge of migrants has caused a strain on local hospital resources and the agriculture industry.

Silbert said the moment with the boy stuck with him.

“I got home and walked into a house with a bed and everything else and I knew that little boy is still down on the border at the wall or being processed depending on what was going on,” Silbert said.

“So that was on my mind quite a bit throughout the evening and the drive back up from Yuma.”

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DPS Director Silbert moved by hug from young migrant boy at Yuma border