Migrant girl’s dad said she was ill on bus

Kirstjen Nielsen

Modal Trigger Kirstjen Nielsen AFP Getty Images

The incident occurred as thousands of migrants approached the border and the administration faced a potential government shutdown over border wall funding.

She and her father were detained by the CBP after they illegally crossed over the US border into a remote area of New Mexico called Antelope Wells with about 160 other migrants. MSNBC has reported that Customs agents put off getting her medical treatment for an hour and a half.

"We take the protection of human life very seriously", one official told reporters.

But, hours later, after Jackeline was placed on a bus, she started vomiting.

When the bus arrived at the Lordsburg station shortly before 6:30 a.m., DHS said, the father told agents that the child was not breathing. They found she had a fever of 105.7 degrees. She was flown to Providence Children's Hospital in El Paso, Texas and less than a day later, Jakelin Caal Maquin died. She died from shock and dehydration roughly 24 hours after being brought to a hospital, the Washington Post first reported.

But the family took issue with that form, which was in English, a language her father doesn't speak or read.

The chain of circumstances here is damning. "They were about 90 miles away from where we could process them".

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The CBP facility at Antelope Wells had no medical personnel and was completely unsuited to receiving refugees in family groups.

A Border Patrol EMT "revived the child twice", the agency said.

Cynthia Pompa, advocacy manager for the ACLU Border Rights Center, said migrant deaths increased a year ago even as the number of border crossing dropped.

"Our infrastructure is incompatible with this reality".

"This tragedy represents the worst possible outcome when people, including children, are held in inhumane conditions", the statement said. But it proved to be too late. Normally, agents offer food and water to people when they take them into detention.

The Border Patrol has seen an increasing trend of large groups of immigrants, many with young children, walking up to agents and turning themselves in. "We'll continue to look into the situation, but, again, I can not stress enough how unsafe this journey (is) when migrants choose to come here illegally".

The White House took the same tack, even more crudely. "No", Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said Friday morning, also on Fox News.

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"We all agree that we should treat children with compassion and we should never let a child die in United States custody".

The girl's father, identified as Nery Caal, 29, could have brought the girl's condition to the attention of Border Patrol agents on the bus transporting the group to Lordsburg at any time, the officials said. The results could take weeks.

Lawyers for the family of a 7-year-old girl who died while in U.S. Border Patrol custody say she did not suffer from a lack of food or water before being picked up by authorities. "What's happening at our borders is a humanitarian crisis". A judge overseeing that lawsuit has ordered the agency's Tucson Sector, which patrols much of the Arizona-Mexico border, to provide blankets and mats to sleep on and to continually turn over surveillance footage from inside the cells.

Jakelin's death drew immediate questions from members of Congress and others about whether more could have been done.

"This is a humanitarian crisis, and we have a moral obligation to ensure these vulnerable families can safely seek asylum, which is legal under immigration and worldwide law, at our borders", Castro said.

US Rep. Beto O'Rourke, another Texas Democrat, called for transparency in the investigation of the child's death.

Agents say the drugs weighed about 80 pounds and had an estimated street value of $60,000.

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The death has drawn attention to the increasingly perilous routes that Central American migrants traverse to reach the US, where some plan to apply for asylum, and to the way migrants are treated once in custody. The office also said it would continue an "ongoing program of unannounced inspections" of CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, and report those results publicly as well. The total was 158,851 people, an 11 percent increase over 2017.

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