7-year-old migrant girl dies of thirst in Border Patrol custody
On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that a 7-year-old migrant girl has died in Border Patrol custody, of apparent dehydration and exhaustion, after she and her father were taken in for unlawfully crossing the border in New Mexico:
According to CBP records, the girl and her father were taken into custody at around 10 p.m. on Dec. 6 south of Lordsburg, N.M., as part 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 at 6:25 a.m., CBP records show. Emergency responders who arrived soon after measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees, and according to a statement from CBP, she "reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days."
The girl, whose name has not been released, then reportedly went into cardiac arrest, was revived, and died 24 hours later at the hospital.
While the Border Patrol was not responsible for the condition in which they found her, the standard protocol is to give food and water to migrants in their custody, and while CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan says that "Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child's life under the most trying of circumstances," it is unclear whether she was given provisions.
The incident calls into question the state of detention facilities, which have faced huge numbers of asylum seekers as President Donald Trump has instituted a new and possibly extralegal policy banning applications from any asylum seeker who does not come in through a port of entry.
Under Trump, every stage of this process has become harsher. Children have been ripped from their families by the hundreds due to Trump's infamous "zero tolerance" policy. And among children who arrive unaccompanied, finding a sponsor can be difficult, as the administration's newest regulations permit them to arrest immigrants who volunteer to do so.