A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died last week after illegally entering the United States with her father and having not eaten or drank any water for days before being taken into custody, according to The Washington Post.
The girl was travelling with her father within a group of over 100 people; they turned themselves over to migration authorities near Lordsburg, New Mexico on December 6.
Congressman Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said late Thursday in a statement he was "devastated by reports that a seven-year-old girl who was taken into Customs and Border Patrol custody died of dehydration and exhaustion".
The girl began having seizures eight hours after she was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents, according to DHS. With a temperature of 105.7 degrees, she was airlifted to an El Paso hospital where she went into cardiac arrest and eventually died. Nielsen then spoke of the limitations faced by Border Patrol agents, saying the migrants "came in such a large crowd that it took our border patrol folks a couple times to get them all". "We call for a rigorous investigation into how this tragedy happened and serious reforms to prevent future deaths", she said. But she also used the opportunity to argue against migrants and asylum-seekers making the journey to the U.S. It's unclear what became of her father.
A group of migrants are arrested at the border in Tijuana on December 2 by US Border Patrol Agents. But, again, I can not stress how unsafe this journey is when migrants come illegally. An initial diagnosis by physicians at Providence hospital listed the cause of death as septic shock, fever and dehydration, CBP said.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley called Jackeline's death "a horrific, tragic situation" and called for "commonsense laws to disincentivize people from coming up from the border", crossing illegally.
"The small Border Patrol station in Lordsburg received a single group of 227 migrants on Thursday, according to CBP, after taking in separate group of 123 on Wednesday".
Trump and his hardline Republican minions have repeatedly attacked parents for putting children in harm's way even as they seek upwards of $ 25 billion in funding for building a border wall that most Americans say will not solve the problem of illegal border crossing.
"And we hope Democrats join the president", he added.
Jackeline's death comes as increasing numbers of children and families are making the risky trek north from Central America and as immigration officials are being increasingly criticized for their treatment of migrants who arrive at the U.S. -Mexico border. New York Rep. Gerald Nadler tweeted that he will be "demanding immediate answers to this tragedy" from Homeland Security Sec.
DHS pointed out how Border Patrol often saves many migrants from death after being lost, abandoned by their guides, or being exposed to the desert for too long.