House Democrats send letter to DHS IG demanding answers about death of 7 year-old migrant girl

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

Migrant girl dies in U.S. custody

Senior House Democrats sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security watchdog requesting an investigation into the death of a 7 year-old migrant girl while she was in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol.

Citing "the seriousness of this tragedy" and remaining questions about the girl's death just over a week ago, Democratic lawmakers asked the acting inspector general for DHS to "initiate an investigation into this incident, as well as CBP policies or practices that may have contributed to the child's death." House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, the leading signer of the letter continued, "The investigation should also examine the appropriateness of holding children in Border Patrol stations, which were never designed to hold children."

The letter also called for an investigation into CBP's failure to notify Congress of the situation until the week after the girl's death.

The girl, identified by the Guatemalan government as Jackeline Caal, and her father were taken into custody on Dec. 6 around 10 p.m., south of Lordsburg, New Mexico, the Post reported. They were among 163 migrants who turned themselves in at the border.

Homeland Security said she started having seizures more than eight hours later. Her body temperature was recorded by emergency responders as 105.7 degrees.

The Border Patrol told the Post in a statement that she "reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days."

She was transported via helicopter to an El Paso hospital, where she died less than 24 hours later. The DHS said be autopsy would be performed on the girl.

The DHS Office of the Inspector General announced an investigation into the girl's death on Friday afternoon, with the results to be reported to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Congress and the public. The DHS OIG also said that it would "continue its ongoing program of unannounced inspections of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities."

First published on December 14, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

Original Article