23 ABC News | KERO / YouTube Migrant 7 year old girl dies 1544808893.jpg...
23 ABC News | KERO / YouTube

The ACLU blamed a “lack of accountability and a culture of cruelty” at the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency (CPB) for the death of a seven-year-old girl who was in immigration custody last week, calling for an in-depth investigation into the child’s fate.

After crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with her father and 163 other asylum seekers, the child was taken into CBP custody in New Mexico on December 6. She began having seizures hours later, and was taken to a hospital after she was found to have a 105.7 degree temperature. She died 24 hours later at the hospital of dehydration and shock, according to the Washington Post. The Post reported that it wasn’t clear if the girl had been given food and water after being taken into custody.

The ACLU called the child’s death “indefensible” and urged Americans to stand firmly against the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration policy, which has included the separation of thousands of children from their parents and guardians as well as prolonged detentions for families.

As the news of the child’s death was reported, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provoked shock and outrage as it released a statement essentially making an example of the seven-year-old, noting that her fate should serve as a reminder that crossing the U.S. border is dangerous for refugees and suggesting that her father is to blame for her death.

“This is a disgusting statement dripping with cruelty, contempt, and inhumanity,” MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes said. “Everyone who worked on it should be ashamed of themselves.”

On Twitter, Reveal reporter Aura Bogado, who has extensively covered the effects of the U.S. government’s immigration policies on children and families, criticized much of the corporate media’s coverage of the child’s death and shared the conditions asylum seekers face in DHS custody:

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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