WASHINGTON POST: Twenty-seven hours before she died at an El Paso children’s hospital, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal walked across the U.S. border with her father and 161 other migrants outside Antelope Wells, N.M.
It was 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 6, and the small, remote U.S. border crossing was closed for the night. There were four Border Patrol agents on duty, and no medical staff.
The migrants skirted barriers and crossed into the United States. Like most Central American asylum seekers who have been arriving at the border in record numbers, they were not seeking to evade capture but to turn themselves in.
That night, as elsewhere when large groups of parents with children appear at remote border outposts, U.S. agents strained to accommodate the needs of those in their custody. The agents radioed the nearest Border Patrol station in Lordsburg, 90 minutes away, to request a bus, the only one available along that barren desert span of the New Mexico boot heel.
What unfolded over the next eight hours, as Jakelin’s condition deteriorated but went unnoticed by agents and perhaps her father, is now the subject of an internal investigation at the Department of Homeland Security, and congressional Democrats are demanding a full accounting and meetings with Customs and Border Protection officials.
Click here for reporter Nick Miroff’s full story in The Washington Post.
Congressional Democrats say they will investigate the case when they assume power in January.
“I want to know how they made this decision knowing that this child was sick. The father said she had started vomiting before they got on the bus. Yet, they chose to put her on a bus for a three-hour drive and by the time they got to their destination she was unconscious. The helicopter that they ordered after a three-hour bus ride should have been ordered prior to that,” said U.S. Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif.
Click here to watch Congresswoman Torres’ remarks on MSNBC’s The Last Word show.