A Mexican child was killed when he tried to cross the Rio Grande into the United States, U.S. officials said, while two lawmakers went to the border Friday and observed the conditions at the reception facility.
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Agents intervened Saturday to rescue three people who were unconscious on an island in the middle of the river: a Guatemalan and his three-year-old Mexican child and nine-year-old Mexican child.
U.S. border guards said they were able to update the woman and her baby. The nine-year-old, whose sex and relationship with the woman were not mentioned, was pronounced dead by medical staff.
The tragedy comes as the United States faces a sharp increase in border crossings: more than 100,000 illegal immigrants were arrested along the southern border in February, including nearly 20,000 family members and 10,000 unsupported minors.
Runs increased further in March, with an average of 5,000 people a day, and only half of them were single adults, a Border Guard official said Thursday.
Health regulations enacted at the outset of an epidemic allow the United States to immediately repatriate all isolated adults and families.
But sending families back to Mexico is very difficult in the United States, especially when they have young children (under the age of seven).
For juveniles arriving alone, they are placed on the premises of the border guards, waiting to find their family members or bodyguards before being transferred to the most appropriate reception structures.
At this point, the senior officer admitted, “We are arresting more children than we are relocating.” At some centers in Texas, “we try to make sure they have access to rain, food and outdoor activities, but it’s a little difficult.”
President Joe Biden, who has been accused by Republicans of creating a “call for flight” at the border, brought the situation into perspective on Thursday and defended his policies.
“What is happening is inhumane,” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz denounced Friday after visiting a detention center in Dona, Texas.
“Democrats, Joe Biden and the Biden administration made decisions that caused the suffering of these people,” he said, along with about fifteen other Republican senators.
“We saw cages and cages, little girls and boys,” the former presidential candidate said.
On the Texas border, a group of Democrats elected from the House of Representatives visited another center in Cariso Springs.
“Conditions are dire,” said Joachim Castro, head of the delegation. When releasing a Democrat president who has “inherited” a complex situation presented by the Trump administration.
His delegation promised to make “recommendations” to the White House.
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