Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen ignited a firestorm Friday morning when she blamed the death of a child in United States custody on the victim’s parents.
A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died of dehydration and exhaustion while under the care of Border Patrol, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
“According to CBP records, the girl and her father were taken into custody about 10 p.m. Dec. 6 south of Lordsburg, N.M. as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in.”
“More than eight hours later, the child began having seizures at 6:25 a.m., CBP records show. Emergency responders, who arrived soon after, measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees, and according to a statement from CBP, she ‘reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.'”
Appearing on Fox & Friends, presumably while President Donald Trump watched with adoration during his executive time, Nielsen said the girl’s parents are responsible for their daughter’s death.
“This is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey. This family chose to cross illegally,” Nielsen said. “What happened was they were about 90 miles away from 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, but again, I cannot stress enough how dangerous this journey is when migrants choose to come here illegally.”
FOX & FRIENDS: What do you know about the 7-year-old girl who died in Border Patrol custody?@SecNielsen: "This is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey. This family chose to cross illegally… I cannot stress [enough] how dangerous this journey is." pic.twitter.com/bjFMdFlW3E
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 14, 2018
The girl passed away in El Paso, Texas. Border Patrol officials said the girl “was revived” after arriving at Providence Children’s Hospital but “did not recover and died at the hospital less than 24 hours after being transported.”
Twitter erupted with calls for those in charge to be held accountable.
@SecNielsen should be arrested and charged, as well as those who directly oversaw that child. This is an abomination.
— Mike Miller (@MJMiller_Legion) December 14, 2018
We all know that child did not die on the journey. She died in US custody, after US gov officials made absolutely no attempt to help her. Your response is despicable.
— LKP (@DesotoTrillium) December 14, 2018
They survived the journey to the US. It was the US that killed her.
— JKRamon 🎵 (@jkramon1313) December 14, 2018
She didn’t die on the journey. Republicans seem to have a major problem with taking responsibility for their own behavior.
— Bonnie Cleaveland (@CHSpolitico) December 14, 2018
Secretary Nielsen she died in your care on your watch. You’re the DHS Secretary. The buck stops with you. Take some responsibility for your departments actions. Step up and show some honor and decency.
— Alan (@JudahTheHammer) December 14, 2018
Absolutely no responsibility in this administration period.
— steven richardson (@srrono) December 14, 2018
This woman is a veritable monster. She has to resign or be fired. Now.
— Ambereen Ameer (@ameerie713) December 14, 2018
This death, no doubt evoking images of the inhumane family separation policy still illegally enforced by this administration, is a shameful legacy.
@SecNielsen this is your legacy. We all know you think that somewhere down the road our eyes will all open and we’ll see how wrong we were. Not happening. You will be hated and despised wherever you go and whatever you do and you brought it on yourself.
— the mace (@abbsworth) December 14, 2018
History won’t be kind. We won’t forget and we will hold DJT, his administration and many gop responsible. Nielsen included.
— Queen Bee (@QueenBe74182030) December 14, 2018
The minute they took this child into custody she was their responsibility. No matter what decisions were made regarding her before that moment, from then it was on the Border Patrol, ICE, and, ultimately, Sec. Nielsen to keep her safe.
They failed. There is no possible excuse.
— Colleen O'Neill (@tallybroom) December 14, 2018
Blaming the victims, a callousness that only makes this worse!
— Slo (@sloschooled) December 14, 2018
She died in US custody. No amount of spin is going to change that.
— 🇺🇸Verita Cassiere (@v_cassiere) December 14, 2018
Victim blaming skill seems to be a job requirement in this administration
— Howard McCarley (@howardmccarley) December 14, 2018
There is a humanitarian crisis unfolding at our southern border. What side are we on?