Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin showed symptoms of dehydration and shock before she was transported from a remote area near the border to a border station.
When she arrived at the border station three hours later, she had stopped breathing. After two revival attempts, Caal was pronounced dead by her father’s side. She had been transferred to a hospital in El Paso, Texas.
Officials at Antelope Wells say Caal, who had a fever of 106, had access to water before transport. A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol defended the lack of care rendered to Caal.
“Due to the remoteness of the area,” said a spokesperson,” meeting emergency medical personnel [at the border station] in Lordsburg was the best means to provide the child with emergency care.”
According to CBP, Caal’s father, a native Quecha speaker, signed a form stating his daughter had no significant health concerns. A Guatemalan official told BuzzFeed news that Caal’s father may not have understood the questions being asked him.
According to ProPublica, migrant deaths increased 20 percent even as the number of migrants captured at the border plummeted, due in large part to authors’ decision to steer migrants toward “barren, isolated terrain” and away from more amenable areas.
While CBP strains to answer questions concerning its personnel and practices, and amid a flurry of questions directed its way, the Department of Homeland Security has stepped in to debase the deceased and her family.
“You know, this is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during an appearance on Fox & Friends. “This family chose to cross illegally.”
Citing the same complications mentioned by CBP, Nielsen continued. “We will continue to look into the situation, but again, I cannot stress how dangerous this journey is when migrants choose to come here illegally.”