"Smugglers will always view children as a commodity to gain a profit," Gregory K. Bovino, chief patrol agent for the El Centro Sector, said.
Police said the people in the apartment did not appear to be severely malnourished or in immediate need of emergency medical care despite the "deplorable conditions" of the apartment.
The discovery in Laredo comes just days after dozens of attempted human smuggling efforts were found at nearby checkpoints.
Eight people were hospitalized, while others are still missing in the water.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has seen an increase in human smuggling pursuits this year, with more than 370 incidents occurring since March.
"Those who arrived at the border and are already there in groups or caravans and are stuck there sometimes are so desperate they hire the services of a smuggler...a lot of smugglers visit migrant shelters and find new clients," said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera of George Mason University.
An 18-wheeler truck reportedly containing up to 100 people believed to be undocumented migrants was pulled over by police in Texas.
The people were discovered when police responded to a kidnapping report
The administration of President Joe Biden announced the return of the Central American Minors program on Wednesday, an Obama-era initiative that had been terminated during the administration of former President Donald Trump.
Authorities announced the Thursday arrest of Saifullah Al-Mamun, who they allege smuggled large numbers of people into the U.S. by way of a network operating in Brazil and Latin America.
U.S. Border Patrol agents say a 30-year-old U.S. citizen impersonated a first responder in an attempt to smuggle three people across a U.S. border checkpoint.
Video shows a man on a raft smuggling a pair of immigrants across the Rio Grande river separating the United States and Mexico—just yards from a heavily armed port of entry.
Department of Homeland Security reported it initiated 2,117 cases against suspected human smugglers through June, compared to 2,110 cases for all of 2016.
Uber Mexico said in a statement that it bore no responsibility but was cooperating with the authorities.
Friends and journalists have claimed that an Eritrean refugee has been arrested in a case of mistaken identity.