As Migrant Children Die in U.S. Custody, One Man Continues His Months-long Vigil at Texas Migrant Detention Camp
The deaths of two migrant children in U.S. custody last month has put new pressure on the Trump Administration about its immigration policies. On December 7, Seven-year old Jakelin Caal, along with her father turned themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents. There are conflicting details about their captivity. What is known is that eight hours later, Jakelin Caal became “feverish and vomiting” on a transport bus headed for a border patrol station in Lordsburg, New Mexico. After Caal lost consciousness, Border Patrol emergency medical technicians had to twice resuscitate her. With a near 106 degree temperature, Caal was helicoptered to El Paso’s Providence Children’s Hospital. She died just over 24 hours later. On Christmas Eve, an 8-year-old migrant from Guatemala, Felipe Gómez Alonzo, died in Customs and Border Protection custody. Earlier that day, a local hospital measured him with a 103-degree fever. The hospital released him less than two hours later, back to the detention facility, where he died soon after. Criminal charges are also pending against staff members of a shelter in Arizona. Surveillance video shows staff pushing and dragging migrant children. The facility is now closed. New Yorker Joshua Rubin became incensed over the U.S. government separating migrant children from their parents at the border. He then packed up an RV, left his family and headed to the migrant detention center in Tornillo, Texas. He’s held vigil outside of the center’s gates since October 2018. Rubin also started a Facebook group, Witness: Tornillo, to bear witness to what’s happening. The U.S. government said the Tornillo site would be temporary. When we spoke with Rubin in November, he informed us the government was expanding the camp. Today, he’ll give us an update.