A 7-year-old migrant girl who crossed into the United States from Mexico died from dehydration and shock after being apprehended by agents with the Customs and Border Protection.
The Department of Homeland Security said that the girl was found in Lordsburg, New Mexico on Dec. 6, with a large group of Central Americans who entered the United States.
The girl began having seizures while in Border Patrol custody and a Border Patrol EMT rushed over and determined she had a high fever, with a temperature of 105.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
A local EMS was called and the girl was airlifted to a hospital in El Paso and suffered a heart attack.
She was revived but did not recover and died within a day of suffering the heart attack, the department said in a statement.
Officials said in the statement that traveling north is extremely dangerous.
“Every year the Border Patrol saves hundreds of people who are overcome by the elements between our ports of entry. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and the best efforts of the medical team treating the child, we were unable to stop this tragedy from occurring,” the department said in the statement. “Once again, we are begging parents to not put themselves or their children at risk attempting to enter illegally.”
“Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the child,” the department added.
An autopsy was planned and an internal investigation was launched to determine if agents followed proper procedures, but officials said agents had provided care once they noticed the girl’s condition.
It wasn’t clear if the girl was part of the migrant caravans, which are primarily entering California.
Woman Impaled, Broken Vertebrae
Crossing into the United States can be dangerous even if migrants make it through Mexico, where cartel violence and other dangers are rampant.
In late November, a migrant mother from Guatemala was impaled after falling from a portion of the border fence.
The woman, who was not identified, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries while her children were evaluated for “potential fall trauma,” Customs and Border Protection said.
On Dec. 10, two Guatemalan teenagers, including a 17-year-old traveling without her parents, fell from the border wall and suffered serious injuries.
A 14-year-old crossing into the United States with her mother fell and broke several vertebrae.
“The only legal and safe method of entry into the United States is through a designated port of entry,” said Yuma Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Carl Landrum said in a statement.
“People entering our country illegally, at places other than designated ports of entry, put themselves and their families in dangerous situations that could result in significant injury or even death.”
The younger teen was taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center and later airlifted to a hospital in Phoenix.
Some 100,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended after crossing into America in October and November alone as the country experiences a border crisis.
During fiscal 2017, which ended after September, almost 400,000 people were apprehended along the southwest border after crossing illegally—averaging out to almost 1,100 per day. A further 124,500 turned up at ports of entry without documentation.