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News > U.S.

SOTU: Congresswomen Wear Pin Featuring Migrant Child Killed at US Border Custody

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointing at her button of Jakelin Caal, the migrant child who died at the U.S. border custody.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointing at her button of Jakelin Caal, the migrant child who died at the U.S. border custody. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 February 2019

Congresswomen wore button featuring Jakelin Caal, the Guatemalan migrant child killed at U.S. border custody to protest against funding the ICE.

The United States Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley wore a pin showing Jakelin Caal’s face to the State of the Union address by the U.S. President Donald Trump Tuesday.


Trump Delivers Second State of the Union Address

The move was a protest against more funding to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which is known for its appalling treatment of immigrants.

Jakelin Caal was a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl who was a member of a migrant caravan from Central America, died in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.

The girl and her father were detained by immigration authorities on Dec. 6 in New Mexico as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in. On Dec. 7, the girl started having seizures and was taken to a hospital where she died.

“We are bringing Jakelin Caal into the room with us during the #SOTUW/ @ayannapressley @ilhanmn @ocasio2018. They said 12,800 children are in detention camps via federally contracted sites. Now they said it was more 15,000. #ourdaughter #not1dollar,” wrote Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Twitter pledging to not spend even a dollar more for the ICE funding.

Caal was treated 90 minutes after showing symptoms. The doctors at an El Paso hospital said that she had no food or water for days.

Caal was not the only child to die at the U.S. border custody. Felipe Gomez Alonzo, another seven-year-old Guatemalan child died on Christmas in U.S. custody after being detained by immigration authorities along with his father. Felipe wanted to reach the United States to study, find a job and help his family in Guatemala.

The boy showed signs of illness and was taken to a hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico where he was diagnosed with a cold and fever for which he received medication. He was taken back to the hospital Monday evening with nausea and vomiting and later died there.

The migrant caravans from Central America are fleeing harsh economic and environmental conditions and hoping to reach the U.S. in search for jobs and proper living conditions. But due to Trump’s racist and strict anti-migrant stance, these immigrants are facing horrendous conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Still, a large number of people are continuing with their journey.

According to the latest reports, around 2,000 migrants reached the Texas-Mexico border Monday in hope of crossing to the U.S., and around 1,700 more reached the border Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of State announced Sunday the deployment of 3,750 additional troops to the Southwest border with Mexico during the next three months to stop the migrants. The latest deployment raised the number of troops at the border to 4,530.

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