Washington D.C., Dec 19, 2018 / 12:00 pm
The death of a seven-year-old asylum seeker in federal custody is a reminder that immigration policies can have life and death consequences, the U.S. bishops' conference migration committee chairman said Tuesday.
"We are extremely distressed at the news of seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin's death shortly after crossing the U.S./Mexico border with her father and turning themselves into CBP in search of asylum in the United States. Our prayers and heart-felt condolences go out to Jakelin's family," Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB committee on migration, said in a Dec. 18 joint statement with Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso and Bishop Gerald Kicanas, temporary administrator of the Las Cruces diocese.
"The death of a child is always a moment of great sadness, a jarring disruption of the natural order of life."
"From this tragedy, we must remember this profound human consequence of our failed immigration policies, including also that restrictions on the flow of asylum seekers at the border can push more families to seek entrance between ports of entry which place them at greater risk, the statement added.