Immigration officials are baffled by growing number of migrants crossing into US through remote port of entry where seven-year-old Guatemalan girl died

Wednesday, December 19, 2018
By Paul Martin

Customs and Border Protection officers encountered groups of 257 and 239 Guatemalans at Antelope Wells border crossing in New Mexico this week
Antelope Wells is the site of one of about three dozen Border Patrol ‘forward operating bases’ in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas
Migrants have been boarding commercial buses from Guatemala to reach the Antelope Wells crossing in New Mexico in four or five days straight
On December 6, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal and her father were found at the desolate Antelope Wells port of entry with 161 other migrants
Jakelin started vomiting on the bus ride to the nearest Border Patrol station 94 miles away, and ultimately died at a hospital in Texas

DAILYMAIL.COM
19 December 2018

US immigration authorities are struggling to understand why a growing number of Guatemalan asylum seekers have been flocking to an extremely remote and dangerous stretch of New Mexico desert, where seven-year-old Jakelin Caal fell gravely ill earlier this month.

Caal and her father were found at the desolate Antelope Wells crossing on December 6 with 161 other migrants. The little girl started vomiting on the bus ride to the nearest Border Patrol station 94 miles away. She had stopped breathing by the time she arrived and her temperature was 105.9 degrees.

She died at a hospital in El Paso, Texas, after experiencing liver failure and swelling on her brain, according to officials.

This week alone, Customs and Border Protection officers encountered groups of 257 and 239 people consisting of Guatemalan families and unaccompanied children, CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday.

The Border Patrol found groups of more than 100 people along the entire US border with Mexico about eight times during the budget year that ended September 30 and encountered nearly four times that amount since October 1.

‘This is a brand new phenomenon,’ McAleenan told reporters in a conference call. ‘It’s really challenging our resources.’

Antelope Wells is the site of one of about three dozen Border Patrol ‘forward operating bases’ in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas – bare-bones facilities designed to increase enforcement in remote areas. About four agents are assigned to Antelope Wells and they sleep at the base on eight-day shifts to avoid having to drive home every day.

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