SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Migrant advocates took a short break from handing out bottles of water and small meals to migrants stranded between two border walls in San Ysidro, California, to build a small “Día de los Muertos” altar in honor of a female migrant who died early Wednesday morning.
The woman reportedly died after being taken from an area known as “Whiskey 4,” about a mile west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry according to Pedro Rios, director of the American Friends Service Committee.
He says the woman had been waiting for agents to take her to a processing center when she developed some sort of medical emergency.
“There isn’t a lot of information except that she was 29 years old from Guinea, that she was traveling with a cousin and another companion,” said Rios.
Rios stated that, while not much is known about the woman herself, details about her death are few.
The Border Patrol has issued a statement saying agents were approached by “an individual in medical distress.”
“First aid was immediately initiated, and the individual was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital by local emergency medical services where they passed away,” read a Border Patrol statement.
Rios told Border Report this was bound to happen considering the number of people now waiting to be picked up by agents “without food or water.”
“For months, we’ve been saying that when people are held under these conditions between border walls without having necessary water or food, that it would likely cause injury or possibly death,” said Rios.
Rios fears this will happen again as migrants all along the southern border are being exposed to many dangers while waiting for agents to pick them up. He wants the Border Patrol to prioritize the safety and well-being of asylum seekers.
“They need to prioritize and make sure that people seeking asylum are welcomed with dignity so that they are properly processed and not be forced to make a difficult decision of having to come through these dangerous areas,” Rios said.
The Border Patrol has said in the past it doesn’t have the enough processing space to take in all the asylum seekers that are now coming across the border, and that this necessitates the need for the migrants to remain outside along the border until space opens up at Border Patrol stations or processing sites.
For now, the woman’s death is being investigated by Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility.
The cause of death has yet to be determined.