Sadly, the public has just gotten an all-too-real reminder of how dangerous trekking to the U.S.-Mexican border can really be for the individuals making the journey. A seven-year-old Guatemalan refugee, who was traveling along with the migrant caravan, has tragically passed away while in U.S. custody after finally reaching the border of the United States.
The seven-year-old child finally reached the border alongside her father last week. The duo was traveling amongst a group of 163 migrants. Once the large group made it into the country, they decided it was best to turn themselves over into Border Control custody to begin legally seeking asylum.
Border Patrol agents arrested and detained the father. They interviewed the youngster and were shocked to discover she had not consumed any water or eaten any food in several days. Agents decided to transport the child to an El Paso hospital for treatment, but her condition was so severe that she begun having seizures about eight hours after being taken into custody. She was airlifted to the hospital, but she tragically passed away a short time later. Her cause of death was severe dehydration and shock.
Border Patrol agents and Homeland Security officials both offer their sincerest condolences to the child’s loved ones. They did everything they could to help the youngster, but their efforts were not enough. In a statement, Border Patrol agents reiterated the serious risks involved with attempting to illegally cross over the border. They explained, “every year the Border Patrol saves hundreds of people who are overcome by the elements between our ports of entry.”