A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock hours after she was taken into the custody of US Border Patrol agents near the Mexican border.
The girl and her father had been detained by US immigration authorities on December 6 in the state of New Mexico as part of a group of 163 people who approached US agents to turn themselves in, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
Early on December 7, the girl started having seizures, and emergency responders measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees, according to the Post.
She was taken to a hospital, where she died, the newspaper said. The names of the girl and her father were not released.
US Border Patrol is investigating the incident to ensure whether appropriate policies were followed.
The head of the US Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border security, will appear in front of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee next week.
US Representative Jerry Nadler, the top Democratic Party member on the committee, said on Twitter. “We will be demanding immediate answers to this tragedy,”
US President Donald Trump has made toughening immigration policies a central tenet of his presidency and has vowed to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
This summer, his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which resulted in separating children arriving at the border with their parents, caused a national outcry.
The policy was mostly reversed following domestic and international pressure.
Trump has promised to build a wall along the US-Mexican border to curb the flow of migrants from Mexico and Central America.