In a true tragedy, a 7-year-old girl died last Friday after she and her parents, along with 160 others, crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally and surrendered to U.S. Border Patrol agents December 6. Eight hours later, the Guatemalan girl suffered seizures and was flown to an El Paso, Texas hospital, The Washington Post reported.
The girl went into cardiac arrest and “was revived,” the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told the Post. “However, the child did not recover and died at the hospital less than 24 hours after being transported,” CBP said. The CBP also said the girl “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.”
Now, one might think the parents of the young girl might bear the brunt of the blame. But to liberals and Democrats — especially those who want to run for president in 2020 — the blame goes squarely on President Trump and Republicans.
“This is tragic. We need a full and thorough account of what happened before this 7-year-old girl died of dehydration and exhaustion in CBP custody,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Cory “Spartacus” Booker (D-NJ) also jumped in, saying “Shaken by this news. My heart breaks for this young girl and her family.”
Ben Rhodes, a former top adviser to former president Barack Obama, said the girl’s death was caused by “dehumanizing rhetoric,” presumably from President Trump and Republicans. “This little girl deserved so much better. Don’t ever give into dehumanizing rhetoric about caravans and immigrants. This is where that leads. Every child has a dignity that must be cherished,” he wrote.
Shaun Kin, co-founder of the Real Justice PAC and a columnist for The Intercept, implied Trump was to blame.
Another liberal group, The Women’s March, put the blame directly on Trump’s border enforcement policies.
“Horrifying. She should never have been put in a detention center. She never should have been neglected once taken into custody. Her death is on this administration’s hands,” the group wrote on Twitter.
“Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the child,” CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan said in a statement to the Post.
“Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child’s life under the most trying of circumstances,” Meehan said. “As fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, we empathize with the loss of any child.”
The Post also reported that “Food and water are typically provided to migrants in Border Patrol custody, and it wasn’t immediately clear Thursday if the girl received provisions and a medical exam before the onset of seizures.”
Still, for liberals, the blame must immediately fall on the Trump administration. The American Civil Liberties Union blamed “lack of accountability, and a culture of cruelty within CBP” for the girl’s death. “The fact that it took a week for this to come to light shows the need for transparency for CBP. We call for a rigorous investigation into how this tragedy happened and serious reforms to prevent future deaths,” Cynthia Pompa, advocacy manager for the ACLU Border Rights Center, said in a statement to the Post.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters Friday that the girl’s death is “a horrific, tragic situation.”
“Obviously, our hearts go out to the family and to anyone who’s suffered any type of danger and peril that they see so often when they make that trek up from the southern border. It’s a horrific situation. There’s no two ways about it and it’s — it’s a sad time, but it’s also senseless. It’s a needless death and it’s 100 percent preventable. If we could just come together and pass some common sense laws to disincentivize people from coming up from the border and encourage them to do it the right way, the legal way, then those types of deaths, those types of assaults, those types of rapes, the child smuggling, the human trafficking, that would all come to an end. And we hope Democrats join the president,” Gidley said.
It is without doubt a terrible thing when a young child dies. But perhaps some of the blame should be put on the girl’s parents, who brought her hundreds of miles from home and, according to the CBP, gave her little food and water “for several days.”