Border patrol says 7-year-old migrant died in custody from dehydration and shock

When the focus is punitive detention and not simple human decency and care, 7 yr' old children die of preventable deaths

Via -The Hill

A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala has died from dehydration and shock while in Border Patrol custody, according to a new report Thursday.

The child, whose name has not been released, was detained last week after illegally crossing the border to New Mexico with her father and more than 100 other migrants, The Washington Post reported.

Eight hours after she was detained, she reportedly began having seizures. Emergency responders found that she “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days," according to the Post's review of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) records.

The girl was flown to an El Paso hospital and initially revived, but went into cardiac arrest and died less than 24 hours later.

The girl’s father is reportedly still in El Paso awaiting a meeting with Guatemalan consular officials. CBP is investigating the incident, the agency told the Post.

“Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the child,” CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan said in a statement to the Post.

“Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child’s life under the most trying of circumstances,” Meehan said. “As fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, we empathize with the loss of any child.”

CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Food and water are typically provided to detained migrants in CBP facilities, though it is unclear if the girl received the provisions and a medical exam prior to the first seizure. 

As arrests at the border have skyrocketed this year, CBP and other agencies have been detaining migrants in detention facilities that CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan has said were built “to handle mostly male single adults in custody, not families and children.” 

Migrants traveling with family members made up more than half of those taken into custody in November by the Border Patrol, according to the Post.

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