White House Defends Border Patrol After 7-Year-Old Guatemalan Girl Dies in Custody

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The White House defended the Border Patrol on Friday after a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died of exhaustion and dehydration while in custody, but the child’s death — and the border agency’s weeklong delay in disclosing it — prompted an outcry on Capitol Hill.

The case intensified scrutiny of Border Patrol detention practices and raised questions about whether agents’ negligence contributed to the death. It also sparked concerns that the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown has funneled migrants into more dangerous areas along the border.

Homeland Security officials said they had launched an inspector general’s investigation into the death and whether regulations were followed, and were awaiting results of an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.

Hogan Gidley, the deputy White House press secretary, called the girl’s death “a horrific, tragic situation” and “100% preventable.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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