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7-year-old migrant girl dies of dehydration and exhaustion while in custody of US Border Patrol

7-year-old migrant girl dies of dehydration and?exhaustion while in custody of US Border Patrol

A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala has died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week 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 child’s death is likely to intensify scrutiny of detention conditions at Border Patrol stations and CBP facilities that are increasingly overwhelmed by large numbers of families seeking asylum in the United States.  

According to CBP records, the girl and her father were taken into custody about 10 p.m. on December 6th south of Lordsburg, N.M., as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in.  

More than eight hours later, the child began having seizures at 6:25 a.m., CBP records show. Emergency responders, who arrived soon after, measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees, and according to a statement from CBP, 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,” CBP said.  

The agency 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, according to CBP. The agency is investigating the incident to ensure appropriate policies were followed, it said.

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