Outrage over death of migrant girl in US custody

Updated 17 Dec 2018

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Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin was picked up by US authorities with her father and other migrants in New Mexico. — Photo from Twitter.
Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin was picked up by US authorities with her father and other migrants in New Mexico. — Photo from Twitter.

NEW YORK: The death of a seven-year-old migrant girl in the New Mexico desert without water and food has outraged most Americans as the Trump administration defended its position.

The girl Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin was picked up by US authorities with her father and other migrants in a remote stretch of New Mexico desert.

Some seven hours later, she was put on a bus to the nearest Border Patrol station but soon began vomiting. By the end of the two-hour drive, she had stopped breathing, according numerous news reports.

The girl’s death is the latest example of the desperation of a growing number of Central American families and children showing up at the US-Mexico border, often hoping to claim asylum, and it raises new questions about how well authorities are prepared.

The episode drew immediate questions from members of Congress and others about whether more could have been done. There were only four agents working with a group of 163 migrants, including 50 unaccompanied children, and only one bus to take them to the nearest station 94 miles away. The protocols the agents followed failed to alert them to any signs of distress until it was too late.

A seven-year-old girl should not be dying of dehydration and shock in Customs and Border Protection custody,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — (Democrat, New York) tweeted.

Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2018