Seemingly incapable of any sense of empathy, the president of the United States has chosen to politicize on Twitter the deaths of two young children this month while they were in the Border Patrol’s custody.
Seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin died on Dec. 8 in New Mexico, two days after being taken into CBP custody. Eight-year-old Felipe Gómez died in New Mexico on Christmas Eve. Both children were from Guatemala.
On Saturday, Trump wrote: “Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can’t. If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try! The two...children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol. The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn’t given her water in days. Border Patrol needs the Wall and it will all end. They are working so hard & getting so little credit!
In a third tweet, Trump tagged Fox News and mentioned the “Wall” again: “For those that naively ask why didn’t the Republicans get approval to build the Wall over the last year, it is because IN THE SENATE WE NEED 10 DEMOCRAT VOTES, and they will gives us ‘NONE’ for Border Security! Now we have to do it the hard way, with a Shutdown. Too bad! @FoxNews.”
Not only did Trump politicize these deaths, he continues to repeat information about Jakelin Caal Maquin that appears to be untrue. According to a report earlier this month by BuzzFeed, Caal’s father said the claims that she hadn’t eaten or been given water while crossing the border were false. He added that his daughter had shown no signs of being sick before being taken into CBP custody.
Trump, of course, isn’t the only one in his administration politicizing the deaths. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen previously blamed Caal’s father, Nery Gilberto Caal, along with a “chain of human misery.” On Saturday, after meeting the previous day with local and federal officials in El Paso, TX, Nielsen blamed the courts and Congress. This is the same Trump official who, while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, didn’t know how many people have died while in Department of Homeland Security custody.
Following Gómez’s death, CBP said it would conduct “secondary medical checks upon all children in CBP care and custody.” Nielsen said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would investigate increasing numbers of “sick children” crossing the border, The Hill reported.