Migrant Child Taken Into Custody By Border Patrol Dies
A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into custody by Border Patrol last week after crossing from Mexico into the United States illegally with her father and a group of migrants along a remote span of New Mexico desert, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
According to Customs and Border Protection records, the girl and her father were taken into custody at about 10 p.m. on December 6, just south of Lordsburg, New Mexico. They were apart of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in.
More than eight hours later, the child began having seizures early the next morning, CBP records show. Emergency responders arrived soon after and measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees; according to a statement from CBP, she “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.”
After a helicopter flight to Providence Children’s Hospital in El Paso, the child went into cardiac arrest and “was revived,” according to reports from the agency. “However, the child did not recover and died at the hospital less than 24 hours after being transported,”Customs and Border Protection said.
The agency has not released the name of the girl or her father, but the father still remains in El Paso awaiting a meeting with Guatemalan consular officials. The agency is said to be investigating the incident to ensure appropriate policies were followed.
Food and water are typically provided to migrants in Border Patrol custody, but it wasn’t immediately clear on Thursday if the girl received provisions and a medical exam before the onset of seizures.
“Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the child,” CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child’s life under the most trying of circumstances,” Meehan said. “As fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, we empathize with the loss of any child.”