Media Contact

Imelda Mejia, ACLU of Texas, 317-751-3014, media@aclutx.org

December 13, 2018

EL PASO — Reports released today brought to light the death of a 7-year-old girl who died of septic shock, fever, and dehydration while she was in Border Patrol Custody last week. According to CBP records, the girl and her father turned themselves in to agents with a large group of migrants. More than eight hours later, the child began to have seizures. She was taken to the hospital where she later died.

Cynthia Pompa, advocacy manager for the ACLU Border Rights Center responded with the following statement:

“This tragedy represents the worst possible outcome when people, including children, are held in inhumane conditions. Lack of accountability, and a culture of cruelty within CBP have exacerbated policies that lead to migrant deaths. In 2017, migrant deaths increased even as the number of border crossings dramatically decreased. When the Trump administration pushes for the militarization of the border, including more border wall construction, they are driving people fleeing violence into the deadliest desert regions. The fact that it took a week for this to come to light shows the need for transparency for CBP. We call for a rigorous investigation into how this tragedy happened and serious reforms to prevent future deaths.”

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