CNN host Chris Cuomo isn’t usually the first one to condemn over-exaggeration from those opposed to President Donald Trump, but he spoke out against those blaming United States Custom and Border Patrol for the death of a seven-year-old.
When the reports broke that seven-year-old Jakelin Caal had died after being detained by border patrol, several prominent Democrats jumped to call out the border patrol agents for the girl’s tragic death.
This little girl is barely older than my own daughter.
Seven, a baby.
What horrible thing have we allowed to occur, when so many won't even blink at the death of a child on the watch of US Customs, on our watch, because her parents crossed a border??https://t.co/vgPno8yjre
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 14, 2018
Heartbroken for this child & her family. Heartbroken that this is happening in the United States of America. Every person should be treated with dignity & compassion, no matter which side of the border they come from.
CBP must provide answers about how this tragedy happened. https://t.co/A0EpHk4X3P
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 15, 2018
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) December 14, 2018
Instead of jumping on the bandwagon to trash the border patrol agents, Cuomo went through the details of the horrific death and explained that the fault doesn’t lie at the feet of those agents.
“Jakelin and her father were not abused, at least not by the men and women working for the U.S.,” explained Cuomo.
Cuomo instead pointed the finger at those who organized the caravan, feeding families full lies about the process of entering the United States and profiting off their dangerous journey north. As IJR previously reported, these caravan organizers charge as much as $7,000 per person, making the latest caravan a $2.5 billion venture.
“They need to be called out and investigated,” said Cuomo. “They’re making false promises of an ease of entry that leads people with misconceptions into bad situations.”
Cuomo went onto explain the difficult situation for Jakelin, her father, and the border patrol agents who found her.
The father and daughter were stopped at the border, hours away from a facility along with 163 other migrants. Because of the remote location, they could only bus people to detention centers 50 at a time. Jakelin and her father were on the second bus and she was not showing any signs of illness at the time. They were given some food and water.
As soon as the father and border patrol became aware of girls illness, they called for emergency assistance. Cuomo further explained how the border patrol agents went above and beyond to help the girl and her father:
“CBP let the father go with the daughter to the hospital. It’s not what the law would suggest, right? He was under arrest, but it was the right thing to do. It is illegal to cross, we know that. But humanity is part of the job on the border. They know that. And he needed to be there, and he was.”
Cuomo called out those who claimed that the border patrol failed to do all they could to save the child. “Don’t demonize people working on the border with false allegations.”
Although Cuomo believes that there need to be significant changes at the border, he doesn’t think the wall would solve the problem. He pointed to a flawed immigration system and an understaffed legal system that struggles to process everyone as two details that a wall wouldn’t solve.
“If you build the wall but you don’t build out the other areas, you’re not going to be fixing [it], not really,” said Cuomo.
Cuomo said the path to preventing another tragic death didn’t involve demonizing both sides. “The answer isn’t demonizing desperation, demonizing the CBP. They’re not storm troopers.”