Following reports that a 7-year-old migrant girl died in U.S. custody, the Trump administration opted to blame the girl’s family for making the trek in the first place.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the hosts of Fox & Friends Friday morning that the situation is “a very sad example of the dangers of this journey.”
The girl, identified as Jackeline Caal, from Guatemala arrived with her father in a group of 163 migrants at the U.S. border in New Mexico on Dec. 6. She reportedly began having seizures after she was detained and had a temperature of more than 105 degrees. Officials said Caal had “not eaten or consumed water for several days.” She died about 24 hours after she was taken, by helicopter, to a hospital in El Paso where Caal died of dehydration and shock. The Washington Post reported it wasn’t clear whether Caal was given food, water, or medical treatment before she fell ill.
When Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked Nielsen about the incident, the secretary called the situation “heart-wrenching,” but then noted that Caal’s death is “a very sad example of the dangers of this journey.”
“This family chose to cross illegally,” she continued. “What happened here was they were about 90 miles away from where we could process them. They were in such a large crowd that it took our Border Patrol folks a couple of times to get them all.”