The father of a seven-year-old girl who died in government custody hours after illegally entering the U.S. last week is speaking out in defense of Customs Border Patrol officers. Nery Gilberto Caal Cruz, father of Jakelin Caal, expressed his belief that the CBP officers did all within their power to help his daughter.
Guatemalan Consul Tekandi Paniagua tells CNN’s Ed Lavandera that the father has “no complaints about how border patrol agents treated his daughter”. Yet, some in the media continue to exploit her tragic death, in an effort to demonize the very people who worked desperately to save her life and place blame for her death upon CBP officers as well at the Trump administration when evidence suggests otherwise.
Jakelin, travelling with her father from Guatemala, entered the United States illegally at a remote border crossing in Antelope Wells, New Mexico on December 6. The two, who were seeking asylum in the U.S., were among a group of 163 Central American migrants arrested and taken into custody by Customs Border Control agents.
While in custody, Jakelin was given a routine health screening. The screening revealed no health issues, and her father signed a Border Control form indicating that she was in good health with no signs of trauma or distress at the time of her initial detainment. Jakelin consumed food and water offered to her at the border checkpoint.
According to her father, as revealed in a DHS statement published on Facebook, he and his daughter had completed a days-long journey through remote and hazardous terrain, and his child had not been able to consume water or food for days.
Hours after being taken into custody, Jakelin and her father were placed on a bus set to transport them to the nearest Border Patrol station for processing, 95 miles away in Lordsburg, N.M. It was on the bus, at 5:00 a.m., when the girl began showing signs of physical distress, vomiting, and she eventually stopped breathing. Her fever reached 105.9 degrees. She was twice revived by medics. CBP officers called for EMT personnel to meet them at the patrol station, where she was airlifted by MEDEVAC helicopter to a hospital in Texas.
Despite desperate attempts by Border Patrol EMTs, air paramedics, and emgergency room personnel, Jakelin died 15 hours later at the Providence Children’s Hospital, having succumbed to symptoms of dehydration, shock, and liver failure.
The horrific death of this little girl, while tragic, is far from unique. Annually, hundreds of migrants die or are injured in attempting to illegally enter the U.S. Thousands are rescued by Border Patrol Agents, who, out of necessity, have received training as Emergency Response Technicians, so great is the number of migrants who arrive at the Southern border in a state of physical distress.
The collective left and those who encourage potential migrants to embark on the perilous journey, risking their own lives, as well as the lives of their children, bear responsibility for the death of Jakelin and hundreds of others like her. In refusing to encourage migrants to present themselves at legal points of entry where they may be safely processed, they are fueling a network of human traffickers, often working in conjuction with cartels. Preying upon the poor and vulnerable, with little regard for human life, unprepared with adequate provisions, the human smugglers are quick to abandon their charges at the first sign of danger in hazardous terrain.
Those responsible for organizing and funding these mass caravans must be investigated and held to account in order to prevent future loss of life.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)