7-Year-Old Guatemalan Girl Dies in Department of Homeland Security Custody - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

In mid-December, a 7-year-old girl died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement – and her death has sparked a new round of criticism of President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy at the U.S. Border.

Former representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said that migrants should learn from this and use it as an example. Specifically, he said during a Fox News appearance, “The sad reality is we have a 7-year-old girl who has died, and she should have never, ever made that journey. And that should be the message, don’t make this journey, it will kill you, and that should be the message.”

The girl, who crossed the border with her father and a number of other migrants, was part of a group that turned itself in to Border Patrol agents shortly after crossing the border. According to government documents, she began having seizures about 8 hours after being detained. She had not eaten or had water for several days – and less than a day after being taken into custody, she passed away.

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and the best efforts of the medical team treating the child, we were unable to stop this tragedy from occurring,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill. “Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child’s life under the most trying of circumstances. As fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, we empathize with the loss of any child.”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said something similar on a “Fox & Friends” appearance shortly after the incident.

“This family chose to cross illegally. They were about 90 miles away where we could process them,” said Nielsen.

Many critics of this administration’s policies at the U.S.-Mexico border say that this particular group of migrants attempted to come to a border crossing, but that the system in place forced them to try another crossing instead.

What Do You Think?

I’d love to see what you think about what many people are calling a crisis at our southern border, as well as how you feel about DHS’s statements regarding this incident, so please share your thoughts on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino