Migrant 7-Year-Old Girl Dies in Custody of Border Patrol, Investigation Underway
Today, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) announced that it will investigate the death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan migrant girl who recently died after being taken into Border Patrol custody.
At the culmination of its investigation, DHS OIG will provide a final report to the DHS Secretary, the Congress, and the public.
On December 6, 2018 a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody for crossing from Mexico into the United States illegally with her father and a large group of migrants along a remote span of New Mexico desert.
The girl and her father were taken into custody at 10 p.m. as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in.
More than eight hours later, the girl began having seizures. Emergency responders, who arrived soon after, measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees. She reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.
After a helicopter flight to Providence Children’s Hospital in El Paso, the child went into cardiac arrest and was revived. However, the child did not recover and died at the hospital less than 24 hours after being transported.
Border Patrol did not release the name of the girl or her father, but the father remains in El Paso awaiting a meeting with Guatemalan consular officials.
In addition to an investigation of the specific circumstances of the child’s death, DHS OIG will continue its ongoing program of unannounced inspections of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities.