Mom Describes Daughter's Death After Weeks in ICE Custody

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2019

Yazmin Juarez, a mother whose toddler died weeks after they were released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in 2018, recalled the death of her child in emotional testimony before a House panel Wednesday.

Nurses at the south Texas family residential centre in the city of Dilley - the largest such facility in the United States - failed to thoroughly examine the child, Ms Juarez said, merely sending her away with painkillers. When I left the hospital that day, all I had with me was a piece of paper with Mariee's handprints in pink paint, that the staff had created for me.

"The world should know what is happening to so many babies and children inside these ICE detention facilities", she said.

Representative Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, denounced what he termed "government-sponsored child abuse on a grand scale".

Apprehensions along the border have spiked to the highest in at least a decade, driven by families from Central America who say they are seeking asylum and fleeing violence in their home countries.

The House Oversight Committee is hearing testimony on Wednesday about the conditions at detention facilities at the southern border, after recent reports about unsafe conditions for migrants held in the facilities overseen by the federal government.

Images of filthy detention facilities jammed with refugees has sparked widespread criticism. After her child became ill, she was prescribed Tylenol and honey. Last week, he tweeted: "If Illegal Immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come".

But Trump has maintained his tough immigration policies.

"I couldn't even hold her or hug her or console her when she asked for her mother", she said.

Juarez said she fled to the United States a year ago with her 19-month-old daughter Mariee "because I feared for our lives in Guatemala".

"Unfortunately, that did not happen", Juarez said.

"The blood is on the hands of the Democrats who refuse to actually address this", he said. Before a year ago, no child died in USA immigration custody in over a decade. The reduction reflects funding increases that have enabled a federal health agency to expand its holding capacity.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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