06:14 GMT +310 December 2019
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    A woman carries her son as she looks at people taking part in a gathering in support of the migrant caravan in San Diego, U.S., close to the border wall between the United States and Mexico, in Tijuana, Mexico December 10, 2018

    Dems to Probe Death of Guatemalan Migrant Girl in US Custody

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    LORDSBURG (Sputnik) – US Democrats will initiate an investigation into the death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan migrant girl in Border Patrol custody once they become the majority in the House of Representatives next year, US Congressman Ben Ray Lujan told Sputnik.

    "We're in the minority right now, so when we are in the majority Speaker-Designate Nancy Pelosi has been clear that there must be an independent investigation and that Congress would investigate this," Lujan said on Tuesday.

    Lujan said there was no medical equipment in the detention facilities other than the first aid kits that are carried in some of the CBP vehicles.

    Congress must assess what could have been done to prevent Caal's death and to guard against such tragic incidents in the future, he said.

    US lawmakers were assured by CBP officials that no more migrant children have died in their custody, the congressman said.

    Last Friday, CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General launched investigation into Caal's death. However, Democratic lawmakers are calling for an independent investigation.

    READ MORE: Trump Defends Migrant Family Separation After Child's Death While in US Custody

    Jakelin Caal Maquin became ill after being apprehended on December 6 for illegal entry into the United States. She was flown from Lordsburg to the nearest trauma center in the Texas city of El Paso, but doctors were unable to save her. Caal had brain swelling and liver failure, according to CBP.

    Lawyers representing the Caal family said in a statement on Saturday that she was in good condition when she crossed the US border and was arrested by Border Patrol agents.

    CBP officials said the agency did everything in its power to provide medical care to Caal as soon as they were notified of her condition. CBP also said Caal showed no signs of health issues when they conducted an initial screening after her apprehension.

    On Friday, the White House rejected responsibility for Caal's death and said it was a senseless and needless death that was 100 percent preventable.

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    Tags:
    Democrats, investigation, custody, death, migrant, Jakelin Caal Maquin, Ben Ray Lujan, United States
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