U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol's parent agency, announced an 8-year-old girl died in Border Patrol custody May 18. The child and her family were being held in a Rio Grande Valley holding facility when she experienced a “medical emergency” and died at a nearby hospital.
A week earlier, a 17-year-old Honduran boy died after traveling alone. He was in the custody of U.S. Health and Human Services at the time.
Ira Mehlman, of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, calls the two deaths “tragic on many levels” because they should not have happened.
"Facilities are so overcrowded that it's inevitable that there are going to be deaths or other adverse consequences,” he advises. "This is a direct byproduct of the policies that they have put in place."
During the Trump administration, which famously improved border security, Democrats publicly accused the former president of heartlessly allowing “kids in cages,” referring to illegal aliens who cross into the U.S. without an adult guardian.
“The trauma these children experience will live on for decades to come,” then-Sen. Kamala Harris complained in 2019. “It’s absurd that it needs to be repeated: Ripping babies away from their parents to put them in cages is inhumane.”
That same year, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) famously visited a detention center in Texas and said illegals there were being treated like “animals” in over-crowded cells and terrible living conditions. The controversial communist lawmaker was also blasted at the time for her posed photos outside another facility, where she stooped over with hands over her eyes as if she was crying bitterly.