A seven-year-old Guatemalan girl died in Border Patrol custody within hours of illegally crossing the border from Mexico with a group of 163 migrants. The group crossed in a remote area of the New Mexico border with Mexico.
CBP officials stated that the girl and a man claiming to be her father crossed the border during the night of December 6, the Washington Post reported. About eight hours after being apprehended, the girl began having seizures, officials stated. Emergency responders arrived a short time later and determined her body’s temperature to be nearly 106 degrees. CBP officials report the girl “had not eaten or consumed water for several days,” the Post reported.
CBP officials arranged a helicopter aircrew to fly the young girl to El Paso. After she arrived at the hospital, the young Guatemalan girl went into cardiac arrest. Doctors revived her, but she died within 24 hours, officials reported.
“Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the child,” CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan told the Washington Post in a written statement. “Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child’s life under the most trying of circumstances.”
Border Patrol and CBP officials are investigating the incident to make certain proper protocols were followed. It is not known at this time if Border Patrol agents provided food and water to the girl before she began having seizures, the Post reported.
The identity of the deceased girl and her alleged father have not yet been released.
El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 6,434 migrant family units in November, according to CBP reports.
Last week, Lordsburg Station Border Patrol agents apprehended a group of 227 migrants on Thursday followed by 123 more the next day. The large groups tie up Border Patrol agents who must process and provide care, food, and water to these mostly Central American migrant families, the article stated.