In response to reports that a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl has died of dehydration and exhaustion after being taken into Border Patrol Custody, Amnesty International tactical campaigns manager Ashley Houghton issued this statement:
“What wouldn’t you do to save your family’s life? This child’s father made a dangerous journey spanning almost 2,000 miles in hopes of ensuring safety and security for himself and his daughter. When ports of entry are all but closed, forcing asylum seekers to wait for weeks just to seek protection, families will be forced into taking more dangerous routes to reach the United States.
“This was not the first death at the southern border and sadly, it will not be the last. Children seeking protection should never be detained. There must be a thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances around her death.
“If the US builds a wall along the southern border, families seeking protection will face an impossible choice: take any risks necessary to seek safety or return back home to face the stark possibility of death. The solution is simple. The United States must end pushbacks at the border, allow families and individuals to have their asylum claims heard in a timely manner, and abandon plans to build a wall shutting out those seeking safety at our border. The lives of thousands of people, including children, are at stake.”