(CNSNews.com) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) reacted to the death of a 7-year-old girl who died after being apprehended illegally entering the United States with her father by declaring that we “have a moral responsibility to ensure all children are treated with decency and compassion.”
Jakelin Amei Caal Maquin and her father were caught among a group of 163 aliens illegally crossing the border in New Mexico, according to a statement released by Customs and Border Protection.
“Our hearts break for Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin’s family and loved ones,” Pelosi said in a statement released Friday.
“We must honor the spark of divinity in every person,” Pelosi said. “We have a moral responsibility to ensure all children are treated with decency and compassion.”
“Some seven hours later, she was put on a bus to the nearest Border Patrol station but soon began vomiting. By the end of the two-hour drive, she had stopped breathing,” PBS reported about Jakelin.
“Jakelin hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for days, her father later told U.S. officials,” PBS reported.
Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said the Border Patrol “did everything in their power to provide emergency medical assistance” to the girl.
“Border Patrol Agents, including trained Emergency Medical Technicians did everything in their power to provide emergency medical assistance for Jakelin Caal Maquin immediately after her father notified the agents of her distress at a remote Forward Operating Base, 94 miles from the nearest Border Patrol Station,” McAleenan said in a statement.
“Border Patrol Agents revived Jakelin twice before emergency responders arrived via air ambulance to continue medical care,” McAleenand said. “Emergency Medical professionals transported her by helicopter to the nearest children’s hospital.”
“Despite our trained EMT agents’ best efforts fighting for Jakelin’s life, and the work of the Hidalgo County and Providence Children’s Hospital medical teams treating her, we were unable to rescue her,” he said.
“The agents involved are deeply affected and empathize with the father over the loss of his daughter,” he said.
“We cannot stress enough the dangers posed by traveling long distances, in crowded transportation, or in the natural elements through remote desert areas without food, water and other supplies,” McAleenan said. “No one should risk injury, or even death, by crossing our border unlawfully. This is why I asked Congress on Tuesday to change our laws so that the United States is not incentivizing families to take this dangerous path.”
“Border Patrol agents save thousands of people every year who are overcome by the elements, including people found suffering from dehydration, heat stroke, hypothermia, drowning in the river, injuries, and left for dead by these smugglers in some of the most remote areas of our border as they enter the country illegally,” McAleenan said.
“Our Agents have world-class rescue and medical training, and are committed to saving those put in distress by callous smugglers,” he said.
“All Americans grieve the tragic death of a young girl whose family sought a future of freedom and safety for her in our country. Our hearts break for Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin’s family and loved ones.
“We must honor the spark of divinity in every person. We have a moral responsibility to ensure all children are treated with decency and compassion.
“As Homeland Security’s Inspector General opens an investigation into this innocent child’s death, the Congress will also investigate this horrific tragedy to ensure the safety and security of every child.”