Media

Washington Post, Time Headlines Imply Border Patrol Caused Death Of 7-Year-Old Migrant Girl

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

A seven-year-old migrant girl died just hours after being taken into the custody of U.S. Border Patrol, suffering from dehydration and exhaustion as a result of the strenuous journey — but a Washington Post headline made it appear as though Border Patrol bore responsibility for her death.


Time magazine’s headline was equally misleading.

The Washington Post’s article led with concerns that the child’s death, which occurred a week prior to publication, would lead to scrutiny of conditions at detention centers for families crossing the border into the United States. It read:

The child’s death is likely to intensify scrutiny of detention conditions at Border Patrol stations and CBP facilities that are increasingly overwhelmed by large numbers of families seeking asylum in the United States.

But beginning in the fourth paragraph, the Washington Post’s own report refutes the notion that Border Patrol bears responsibility for the girl’s death.

Noting that she began to suffer from seizures just over eight hours after being taken into custody and that her temperature quickly spiked to 105.7 degrees, WaPo reported that emergency responders were called right away and the girl was revived and taken to a hospital.  She died within 24 hours of being transported, and Border Patrol records show that she had not been given food or water for several days prior.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen addressed the situation on “Fox & Friends” Friday, pointing out the dangers of the journey and the fact that Border Patrol had done everything they could to provide medical care.

Critics of President Donald Trump quickly responded to the story, blaming Border Patrol and the Trump administration for the girl’s tragic death. (RELATED: Trump’s Border Policy Is Meant To ‘Traumatize’ Children, Says Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley)

But others noted the misleading nature of the Washington Post’s headline, calling the outlet to account for it.

The girl has since been identified as Jackeline Caal.

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