The recent death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl in Border Patrol custody was tragic, and I hope the inspector general’s investigation into what happened is both comprehensive and fast. Especially since the father of Jakelin Caal Maquin disputes some basic elements of the Border Patrol’s version of events.
But the death also spotlights the broader issue of the U.S. government making prisoners of migrant children in astonishing numbers. As of last week, the government was holding 15,000 minors – mostly teenage boys – in various detention centers around the country.
Let that sink in: The U.S. government is jailing children who, in most cases, arrived at the southwest border seeking asylum. Do they all qualify for sanctuary? Probably not, but we have a system for making such decisions, and at the moment, that system is imprisoning an entire village’s worth of minors.
Source: latimes.com – Los Angeles Times