FILE – In this Jan. 4, 2016 photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent drives near the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Santa Teresa, N.M. Can Donald Trump really make good on his promise to build a wall along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border to prevent illegal migration? Whats more, can he make Mexico pay for it? Sure, he can build it, but its not nearly as simple as he says. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
Last week a seven-year old Honduran girl who was part of a large group of illegal immigrants who had crossed the US border died of complications from heat stroke. As my colleague Alex Parker posted, the media were quick to blame US authorities and, in particular, their headlines deliberately linked the death of the girl to her being taken into US custody.
7-year-old migrant girl taken into Border Patrol custody dies of dehydration, exhaustion https://t.co/Vb599XHO5I
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 14, 2018
A 7-year-old immigrant girl died after she was detained by border patrol https://t.co/F5uFLjompN
— TIME (@TIME) December 14, 2018
The quote Alex uses is particularly telling:
As for WaPo, the article clearly suggests the U.S. played some part in the child’s terrible demise:
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.
The clear intent, like the bullsh** about “separating families” is to discredit the Border Patrol and bully the Department of Homeland Security into returning to the catch-and-release policy of previous administrations. Now Elizabeth I’m-no-longer-a-person-of-color Warren had leapt into the fight:
Heartbroken for this child & her family. Heartbroken that this is happening in the United States of America. Every person should be treated with dignity & compassion, no matter which side of the border they come from.
CBP must provide answers about how this tragedy happened. https://t.co/A0EpHk4X3P
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 15, 2018
The underlying assumption in Warren’s statement, that the Border Patrol somehow decided to let a young girl die, is grotesque. But it isn’t as grotesque as this coming from Bernie Sanders’s former press secretary:
Andiola clearly claims that the girl died in confinement. That is simply a lie. She eventually deleted this tweet after 11K+ retweets of the lie.
Before looking at the incident, it is critical to understand the area in which it happened. The group of illegals was intercepted near the US port of entry at Antelope Wells, NM.
Map via Google Maps https://www.google.com/maps/place/Antelope+Wells,+NMemail@example.com,-109.011348,8z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x86dbbf586c0d6335:0x551e75b07e243f13!8m2!3d31.3489983!4d-108.5089278
The obvious things are the area is a) remote and b) desert.
Several years ago when the military was involved in assisting local authorities suppress drug smuggling (funny, no howls about Posse Comitatus when a USMC patrol killed an American teenager) under the guise of Joint Task Force (JTF) 6, now JTF North, one of the rules of engagement was that any deployed troops had to be within 30 minutes of a Level 1 Trauma Center. This area would have been off limits to military operations.
This Threadreaderapp unroll is from someone who is familiar with the area gives more color:
A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died in #BorderPatrol custody after crossing with her father & 161 other migrants in the #NewMexico Bootheel. @DHSgov officials just tried to explain to reporters how remote & dangerous the region is, but it’s hard to convey if you haven’t seen it.
I’ve been covering the #Bootheel for years. Central American #migrants have been arriving for years, but not in the numbers seen in the past three months. When the latest group arrived, 4 agents were there to meet them. FOUR. The group included 50 unaccompanied minors.
So, for those who don’t know the #Bootheel, its three north-south mountain chains or its two north-south roads, the tiny #AntelopeWells port of entry or the #BorderPatrol forward operating base that is barely staffed, here are some stories by me; @rosalesquique
Here’s what the #AntelopeWells port of entry looks like:
Here’s what it’s like for #BorderPatrol to work the area:
Most of the Central Americans are “give ups,” meaning they turn themselves in to #BorderPatrol. But agents are also dealing with constant traffic through the #Bootheel of drug mules carrying 60lb packs of #marijuana:
The #Bootheel is gorgeous:
@DHSgov explained what happened from the time the girl & her father crossed & her death in El Paso. The story adds up if you know the terrain; but details remain fuzzy w/o hearing the father’s perspective.
Things aren’t always what they seem out there:
And there is no #BorderWall . Plenty of locals don’t want one & would rather have a functioning road or two:
The Department of Homeland Security has provided a timeline of events:
On December 6, 2018, at 2115 hours, a seven-year old Guatemalan minor and her father were apprehended within a group of 163 aliens near Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bounds. This is in a remote area of New Mexico adjacent to the Antelope Wells Port of Entry (POE). This large group was apprehended by three Border Patrol agents.
Given the remote location and size of the group they were moved to a covered area within the Bounds FOB (adjacent to the POE). Upon apprehension, the Border Patrol agents conducted an initial screening, which consists of an interview and observation of the detainee to identify any health or safety problems to ensure that they receive necessary medical care. The initial screening revealed no evidence of health issues. During the screening, the father denied that either he or his daughter were ill. This denial was recorded on Form I-779 signed by the father. At this time, they were offered water and food and had access to restrooms. [my emphasis]
The Bounds POE and Antelope Wells POE were not constructed to hold any sizeable population of detainees. Therefore, those apprehended in this area are promptly transported to the nearest Border Patrol Station in Lordsburg – approximately 90 minutes away.
This is a key point. When the Border Patrol agents encountered the father-daughter, the father did not identify his daughter as having any problems and, contrary to what a lot of the left are claiming, they were provided with food and water. Oddly enough, I’m told by colleagues who are emergency room physicians that giving here food and water may very well have accelerated her body’s response to the trauma of several days with little to know food and water.
Around 2200, a transport bus was moved from the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station to FOB Bounds. It took around two hours for the bus to arrive at Bounds. Given the size of the group, and the capacity of the transport (50 people at a time), agents began transporting the detainees to Lordsburg in separate groups. The first group – unaccompanied alien children – left Bounds for Lordsburg at 0018 on December 7, 2018. It took the bus more than three hours to complete the round trip and return to Bounds for a second group of detainees. The bus returned to Bounds at 0400.
Around 0500, as the second group of detainees – including the child and father – was preparing to depart Bounds, the father advised Border Patrol agents that his child had become sick and was vomiting. Out of an abundance of caution, agents immediately requested that an EMT meet the bus on arrival at the Lordsburg station.
Keep the geography in mind. Even if they had called for a helicopter it would have arrived after the bus would have already been at Lordsburg where the girl could get medical care.
The transport bus arrived at the Lordsburg station shortly before 0630. At that point, the father notified agents that the child was not breathing. Border Patrol EMTs began medical care and requested an ambulance. At this point her temperature was 105.9 degrees. Agents providing medical care revived the child twice. An ambulance arrived at 0640. A decision was made to transport her by helicopter to a hospital (Lordsburg is more than four hours the El Paso Hospital by vehicle). A helicopter arrived at 0730 and departed at 0748. She arrived at Providence Children’s Hospital in El Paso, Texas at 0851.
Given the flight time on the return trip to El Paso, it appears that aero-medical evacuation had already been set in motion. It took 1:03 for the flight from Lordsburg to El Paso. The aircraft arrived at 0730, that implies it was in the air no later than 0628 which implies it was dispatched BEFORE the ambulance arrived.
Border Patrol agents transported the father by vehicle to the hospital. The child received emergency room care and was transferred to the Pediatric ICU for additional care.
Unfortunately, she passed away at 0035 on December 8, 2018. The initial indication from the Providence Hospital is that she passed due to sepsis shock. Her father was with her. The Guatemalan consulate was notified.
The time the child was in custody is irrelevant. The father reported his child was sick around 0500. By 0851, despite the remoteness of the location, the child was in a pediatric ICU. She was in the ICU nearly 17 hours before dying. It is hard to see how this child received worse care than would a child living in Antelope Wells, in fact, she probably received better care.
There is someone to blame here. And it isn’t the Border Patrol. It is the people who are encouraging families to undertake a perilous journey by giving them hope that they can disappear into America while awaiting an asylum hearing. It is the people contesting the Trump administration’s policy to not offer asylum to illegal immigrants. It is her father who brought her on this trip to use her as a prop to avoid deportation. The Border Patrol responded above and beyond the call of duty, they deserve our praise, not our contempt.