Since the Trump administration implemented a zero tolerance policy at the southern border there have been reports of family separation along with tear gas being used on civilians but this past week there was a new tragedy. A 7 year old girl, originally from Guatemala died last week while in custody after Border Patrol agents took her into custody along with a group of migrants that crossed into the US along a tract of the New Mexico desert.
Taken into Custody
Around 10pm on December 6th a group of 163 migrants approached Border Patrol agents to turn themselves in. The group included the 7 year old girl and her father it was eight hours later that the young girl began having seizures according to CBP. Emergency responders arrived shortly after and the girl was already spiking a fever of 105.7. It was reported that they young girl had not eaten nor had anything to for several days. The child was reported to be in shock.
The 7 year old was flown by helicopter to El Paso and Providence Children’s Hospital where she went into cardiac arrest. The agency reported that the child was able to be revived by medical staff onsite however she was never able to recover and unfortunately she passed away less than 24 hours later. The girl’s father remains in El Paso waiting to speak with someone from the Guatemalan embassy.
Scrutiny at the Border
While the activities at the border have been under scrutiny since the first reports of the separation of families came to the media attention. With the death of this little girl the scrutiny of the conditions asylum seekers face at the border is bound to intensify. That being said the facilities at the southern border are overwhelmed by the larger numbers of families looking for asylum.
Food and water are normally provided to those that end up in the custody of the Border Patrol, however it was never made clear if this young girl received food, water or any medical care before the seizures began.
Reaching the Border
There has been no shortage of attention focused on the caravan arriving at the border, with large numbers of South Americans still arriving in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. Some of these people had to walk long distances through very remote areas with little or no food and water before they reach the US. With an uncertain future migrants are left with few choices, they can seek asylum in Mexico, return back to their country of origin or cross illegally. Meanwhile the ACLU is calling for an investigation into the girl’s death.