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Immigrant child from Central America dies after arriving at border dehydrated and starving


The 7-year-old traveled from Guatemala with her father

A girl taking part in the migrant caravan from Central American countries — mostly Hondurans — moving toward the United States, looks out from the trailer of a truck along the Irapuato-Guadalajara highway in the Mexican state of Guanajuato as they head north on Nov. 12, 2018. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died last week after illegally entering the United States with her father and having not eaten or drank any water for days before being taken into custody, according to The Washington Post.

How it happened: The child and her father were taken into custody south of New Mexico on Dec. 6 with a group of 163 people who were turning themselves in to U.S. authorities.

About eight hours after they were taken in, the girl started having seizures and registered a 105.7 degree fever. She was airlifted to a hospital in El Paso, where she went into cardiac arrest, was revived, and died less than a day later.

The cause of death was septic shock, fever and dehydration. It will be several weeks before the autopsy results are available, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The father remains in El Paso where he is waiting to meet with officials from the Guatamalan consulate.

Does Border Patrol take any blame? Because the girl died in CBP custody, some have pointed to detention facility conditions as being substandard.

CBP, as a general practice, provides food and water to people taken into custody. Officials will investigate whether that was the case for this girl, who CBP said "reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days."

CBP Commissioner Keven McAleenan testified Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee and said their facilities were not equipped to handle families and children, because they were built to house mostly single male adults.

The facility the girl was being held in was in Lordsburg, New Mexico, and it is a relatively small one. It received an unusually high number of migrants that day, 227 in total.

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