The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inspector general announced Friday that it would open a probe into the death of a 7-year-old migrant girl.
The girl was taken into Border Patrol custody before dying and the watchdog said it would look into the circumstances surrounding her demise. A statement by the inspector general’s office also noted that a report on its findings will be released after the investigation has been concluded as well as that unannounced inspections of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities will continue.
The girl died of dehydration and shock, the Trump administration said Thursday when her death was first reported. She first crossed the border last week and was taken into custody in New Mexico.
“My heart goes out to the family for all of DHS,” Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Friday, according to The Hill. “This is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey. This family chose to cross illegally. They were about 90 miles away where we could process them. They came in such a large crowd that it took our Border Patrol folks a couple times to get them all. We gave immediate care. We’ll continue to look into the situation.”
Soon after being taken into Border Patrol custody, the girl started having seizures, likely due to the fact she had not eaten or drunk anything in several days, as first responders found. She died less than a day later, despite being taken to a hospital almost immediately after experiencing the symptoms.
“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and the best efforts of the medical team treating the child, we were unable to stop this tragedy from occurring,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement. “Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child’s life under the most trying of circumstances. As fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, we empathize with the loss of any child.”