A pregnant woman apprehended Monday by Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas, delivered a stillborn baby later that same day at a local hospital, according to a Customs and Border Protection statement provided to lawmakers and obtained by CNN.
The statement cites “initial reports” that the woman was apprehended and Border Patrol agents determined she required medical attention and transported her to a local hospital where an examination revealed no fetal heartbeat. The woman then delivered a stillborn child.
Additional details were not immediately available, the release said. Authorities are not yet releasing the mother’s identity and CBP vowed to conduct a “thorough review of the circumstances.”
The growing humanitarian crisis on the southern border has gained urgency amid reports of overcrowding and poor conditions at migrant detention centers and an influx of apprehensions at the southern border. On Tuesday, concerns about the safety of migrants were further raised when a photograph depicting the drowned corpses of a father and young daughter attempting to cross the Rio Grande went viral.
Lawmakers cited the photo throughout the day amid votes to provide additional funding to assist with the swell of migrants.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer displayed a blown-up image on the Senate floor, and Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, appeared to choke up when referring to the photo during a Senate panel’s immigration hearing.
“Now I realize tragedies occur all over this country, all over the world. I don’t want to see another picture like that on the US border,” Johnson said, later adding. “We need to start doing something. It’s well past time.”
President Donald Trump also weighed in, placing blame on Democrats.
“I hate it,” the President said, when asked about the image.
“That father, who probably was this wonderful guy, with his daughter, things like this wouldn’t happen,” he said, before going on to blame the Democrats for “their asylum policy.”
The administration has been overwhelmed by the crush of migrants arriving at the southern border. In May, nearly 133,000 migrants were arrested for crossing the border illegally, according to Customs and Border Protection data, including more than 11,000 unaccompanied children. Many turn themselves in to Border Patrol.
The House and Senate passed two versions of a border funding bill. They are expected to meet in a conference committee to reconcile the bills — but Republican Senate leaders have said they won’t negotiate with House Democrats, essentially daring the House to take or leave the Senate bill.