A nine-year-old Mexican girl has died trying to cross the border through the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where the United States and Mexico are separated by water and woodlands. The announcement was made on Friday (26) by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The child, whose identity has not been revealed, was found last Saturday (20), along with his mother, who is Guatemalan, and a three-year-old brother, also Mexican. They were unconscious on an island by the river that belongs to Mexico.
“Officers located the individuals and immediately began administering first aid while the immigrants were transported to the coast,” the CBP note said. The mother and boy regained consciousness, but the girl, who was taken by firefighters to an emergency department in the nearby town of Eagle Pass, did not survive.
According to the agency, since October 1, more than 500 people have been rescued trying to cross the border illegally in the southern city alone.
Joe Biden’s government has come under fire for the country’s severe migration crisis, with the largest increase in migrants in the past 20 years at its border with Mexico. And the number of unaccompanied children held on the currency has skyrocketed.
About 9,400 minors were among those detained and deported last month, according to CBP data. If we consider the figures from October to February, the total is almost 30,000 children and adolescents.
Child care centers, whether run by CBP or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are overcrowded.
On Tuesday (23), the government released internal images of a migrant detention center in Donna, Texas, after criticism of uncontrolled border control and access restrictions by the press to monitor the work of the patrols.
The government released the footage a day after the Axios news site revealed internal photos of the same center in Donna, showing conditions of overcrowding and improvisation at the facilities.
In the images, it is possible to see tents with a capacity of 260 people with a capacity of 400 people, without respecting the social distance required by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, two delegations of lawmakers, one Democrat and the other Republican, visited different parts of the border. In Donna, Senator Ted Cruz, wearing a cap with the state flag, criticized the Democrat’s management.
“What is happening is inhumane,” he said. Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn said border officials and health officials “were overwhelmed.”
About 320 km away, in Carrizo Springs, also in the southern state, Democrats visited another center. MP Ilhan Omar, who arrived in the United States as a refugee from Somalia as a child, said the situation of the minors was reminiscent of its own trajectory.
“I was also a girl who, like these minors, was fleeing inconceivable violence,” she said.
Asked about immigration issues at his first press conference Thursday (25), Biden admitted that “there is no easy answer” and said it was “totally unacceptable” to have children detained longer than US law allows and under inappropriate conditions.
The president said he was “working” to get the minors out of detention centers as quickly and safely as possible, but without giving details of the operation. “The only people we’re not going to let sit on the other side of the Rio Grande alone, unassisted, are the children,” he said.