Mother of child who died in Border Patrol custody speaks out: ‘They didn’t do anything for her’

The mother an 8-year-old girl who died in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol earlier this week said on Friday that border agents “didn’t do anything” to help her daughter.

“They killed my daughter, because she was nearly a day and a half without being able to breathe,” Mabel Alvarez Benedicks told The Associated Press. “She cried and begged for her life and they ignored her. They didn’t do anything for her.”

Alvarez Benedicks said her daughter, Anadith Tanay Reyes Alvarez, had a history of heart problems and sickle cell anemia. The 8-year-old was diagnosed with influenza a few days after the family crossed the border to Brownsville, Texas, according to the AP.

As her daughter began experiencing breathing difficulties, Alvarez Benedicks said she repeatedly asked for an ambulance but was denied.

“I felt like they didn’t believe me,” she told the AP.

An ambulance was eventually called when her daughter went limp and unconscious and had blood coming out of her mouth, Alvarez Benedicks said. She was transported to a local hospital, where she later died.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement on Wednesday that it is conducting an investigation into the incident.

It was the second time in two weeks that a migrant child has died while in U.S. custody. Ángel Eduardo Maradiaga Espinoza, a 17-year-old from Honduras, died at a holding center in Safety Harbor, Fla., last week, according to the AP.

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