WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Guatemalan asylum seeker left some members of a U.S. Home panel visibly shaken on Wednesday with the story of her daughter’s dying, saying the toddler had contracted a lethal lung an infection throughout a 20-day detention close to the U.S. border with Mexico.
Yazmin Juarez advised a Home of Representatives subcommittee that it was “like they tore out a chunk of my coronary heart” when simply weeks after they had been launched her daughter Mariee died at 19 months outdated.
She mentioned she left a hospital with nothing however a chunk of paper with two handprints in pink paint that employees had made for her, and described by a translator how she missed her daughter’s hugs.
Juarez mentioned it was arduous to relive the expertise, however wished to make clear the dearth of medical care. “The world ought to know,” she mentioned.
“It could’t be so arduous for a rustic like the US to guard children who’re locked up.”
Juarez testified on the Home Committee on Oversight and Reform that was inspecting remedy of refugees in U.S. detention.
Apprehensions alongside the border have spiked to the very best in at the least a decade, pushed by households from Central America who say they’re looking for asylum and fleeing violence of their residence international locations.
Pictures of filthy detention amenities jammed with refugees has sparked widespread criticism. On Monday U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet mentioned she was “appalled” that migrant youngsters had been compelled to sleep on flooring.
President Donald Trump’s robust stance on immigration has been one in all his signature insurance policies. “If Unlawful Immigrants are sad with the circumstances within the shortly constructed or refitted detentions facilities, simply inform them to not come,” Trump wrote on Twitter final week.
Juarez advised members of Congress, a number of of whom appeared shaken by her testimony, that her daughter was wholesome when the pair had been initially detained. They had been held with 30 others, together with sick youngsters whom Juarez mentioned may have contaminated her daughter.
Juarez mentioned that she and her daughter fled violence in Guatemala for a greater life.
“Sadly, that didn’t occur,” Juarez mentioned.
A number of members of the subcommittee together with New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hugged Juarez after she spoke.
“No hay palabras, there are not any phrases,” mentioned Chip Roy of Texas, the rating Republican on the subcommittee.
He blamed Democrats for the border crowding.
“The blood is on the arms of the Democrats who refuse to truly tackle this,” he mentioned.
The listening to got here as a senior U.S. Customs and Border Safety official advised reporters that border brokers had been detaining solely about 200 unaccompanied youngsters at places within the Southwest as of Wednesday, down from greater than 2,500 in Could. The discount displays funding will increase which have enabled a federal well being company to broaden its holding capability.
Reporting by Bryan Pietsch; Further reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Modifying by Frank McGurty and Lisa Shumaker