Nielsen: Girl’s Death in Border Patrol Custody ‘A Sad Example of the Dangers’ Migrants Face
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by POLITICO | 12.14.18
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Friday the “heart-wrenching” death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan migrant in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol last week “is a very sad example of the dangers” migrants face when they try to enter the U.S.
“My heart goes out to the family, all of DHS,” Nielsen said in an interview on Fox News' “Fox & Friends,” where she also touted new border crossing statistics.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection acknowledged Thursday night that the girl died of exhaustion, dehydration and shock less than 48 hours after authorities at the border took the girl into custody along with her father and a large group of migrants who crossed into New Mexico illegally.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that the girl began having seizures roughly eight hours after being taken into custody and was attended to by emergency responders, who found that she was running a 105.7-degree fever. According to CBP, the girl “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.”
She was transported to a hospital where she went into cardiac arrest and was revived, though she died less than 24 hours later, the Post reported.
Nielsen on Friday painted the incident as a cautionary tale that could have been avoided had the girl and her father entered into the U.S. legally.
“This family chose to cross illegally,” she said. “They were about 90 miles away from where we could process them. It took a such a large crowd, it took our Border Patrol folks a couple times to get them all.”
While Nielsen said Border Patrol gave the family “immediate care,” she said that DHS would look into the incident.
Still, she said, “We cannot stress how dangerous the journey is when migrants come illegally.”
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