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7-year-old Guatemalan girl dies in Texas in Border Patrol custody

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Officials’ fault or parents’ neglect? 7yo migrant child dies in custody after crossing US border

The Washington Post first reported Thursday that the girl died of dehydration and septic shock last week in El Paso, Texas after she was taken into custody by Border Patrol after crossing illegally with her father into the United States.

On Dec. 6, Jakelin, her father and the rest of their group went to a closed port of entry to cross illegally into the U.S. They then turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents and were taken into custody in New Mexico.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say the girl was an unaccompanied minor, meaning she did not have parents with her. Eight hours after their arrest, the child began to have seizures and had a temperature of 105.7 degrees, according to CBP records obtained by The Washington Post.

In Lordsburg Border Patrol agents revived the girl twice, and Hidalgo Medical Services arrived to provide care before the girl was airlifted to a hospital in El Paso.

As thousands of migrants massed across the border in Tijuana last month, the Border Patrol and its agents came under scrutiny and criticism for firing tear gas across the border to break up crowds, which included women and children, pushing across the Tijuana River.

The Fox News host called the news of the girl's death "heartbreaking" and said the incident could have been avoided. The toddler's mother and her attorneys alleged she contracted a respiratory infection after they arrived to the detention center and U.S. authorities provided substandard medical care for her.

DHS also noted the risks inherent in attempting to enter the USA illegally.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CBS News.

In a statement, DHS once again asked migrant parents to not put their children in harm's way by taking them on the often-dangerous journey north.

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CBP's spokesman Andrew Meehan said that the agents "took every possible step" to save the child's life "under the most trying of circumstances".

Some even demanded her father to be charged with child neglect.

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley called her death a "horrific, tragic situation".

The death of the 7-year-old comes after a toddler died in May just after being released from an ICE family detention facility in Texas, and as the administration of Donald Trump attempts to ban people from asking for asylum if they crossed the border illegally.

'The fact that it took a week for this to come to light shows the need for transparency for CBP, ' said Cynthia Pompa, advocacy manager for the ACLU Border Rights Center.

"And we hope Democrats join the president", he added.

'We'll continue to look into the situation, but again, I can not stress enough how unsafe this journey when migrants choose to come here illegally, ' she said.

DHS pointed out how Border Patrol often saves many migrants from death after being lost, abandoned by their guides, or being exposed to the desert for too long. Most are Central American and say they are fleeing violence.

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