‘Border Patrol Agents Did Everything in Their Power’ to Save Migrant Girl, Says CBP Commissioner

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleenan testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. McAleenan answered questions about the Trump administration's immigration policies. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Border Patrol agents from the Lordsburg Station in New Mexico did “everything in their power” to save the life of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin after she crossed the Mexican border on December 6 as part of a group of 163 migrants. The Guatemalan girl died after her father reported her ill to Border Patrol agents seven hours after they were apprehended.

“Border Patrol Agents, including trained Emergency Medical Technicians did everything in their power to provide emergency medical assistance for Jakelin Caal Maquin immediately after her father notified the agents of her distress at a remote Forward Operating Base, 94 miles from the nearest Border Patrol Station, CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said in a statement provided to Breitbart News. “Border Patrol Agents revived Jakelin twice before emergency responders arrived via air ambulance to continue medical care. Emergency Medical professionals transported her by helicopter to the nearest children’s hospital.”

McAleenan said that despite the best efforts of EMT trained Border Patrol agents, the young girl’s life could not be saved.

“The agents involved are deeply affected and empathize with the father over the loss of his daughter,” the commissioner stated. “We cannot stress enough the dangers posed by traveling long distances, in crowded transportation, or in the natural elements through remote desert areas without food, water and other supplies. No one should risk injury, or even death, by crossing our border unlawfully.”

The CBP commissioner testified before Congress on Tuesday — two days after the young girl died. “This is why I asked Congress on Tuesday to change our laws so that the United States is not incentivizing families to take this dangerous path,” he said. Reporters questioned McAleenan during a Friday conference call about why he did not mention the girl’s death during his testimony. Congressional representatives also questioned the commissioner on the issue.

“The answer is three-fold, MCAleenan wrote in a letter to Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS) on Friday. ” CBP was in the process of solidifying a privacy waiver, I did not have confirmation that the mother had been notified in Guatemala, and, most importantly, I did not want to risk politicizing the death of a child while I was imploring Senators to fix the laws that are inviting families to take this dangerous path.”

“I am proud of our agents in the field, their efforts to rescue this little girl, and the professionalism and dedication with which they carry out their mission every day,” Commissioner McAleenan concluded in the letter.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.



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