Lawmakers Demand Independent Investigation Into Jakelin Caal’s Death

Lawmakers who toured two facilities where a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl was detained before she died in Border Patrol custody last week are calling for an independent investigation after reportedly finding a lack of medical resources available at the facilities. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus reportedly visited the Antelope Wells Port of Entry and the U.S. Border Patrol Station in Lordsburg, New Mexico, where Jakelin Caal was apprehended and transferred before she died at an El Paso hospital. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) walked away from the tour with scathing criticism over what he described as "disturbing, systematic failures" at CBP. Castro called on the head of Customs and Border Protection, Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, to resign for failing to immediately report Caal's death. He also lashed out at President Trump for demanding billions of dollars in border wall funding while "the lives of asylum-seekers and Border Patrol agents are at stake" due to a lack of equipment and training. “You can tell it’s a president whose priorities are very misplaced,” Castro said. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), a physician, said medical personnel could have “immediately transported [Jakelin] to a higher level of care” if they had been there sooner, and could have “identified sepsis or early sepsis” before she passed away.