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President Donald Trump tweeted Democrats are to blame for the recent deaths of migrant children at the U.S. border.
Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can’t. If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try! The two.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018
...children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol. The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn’t given her water in days. Border Patrol needs the Wall and it will all end. They are working so hard & getting so little credit!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018
His tweets came within a few days of the death of a second child in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) custody.
The child, an eight-year-old Guatemalan boy in New Mexico, fell sick on Monday and was provided with medical care. After taking the prescribed medicine, he went back to the hospital on Monday evening, as people across the country celebrated Christmas Eve.
He died a few hours later, a little over two weeks after the death of a seven-year-old Guatemalan child in CBP custody in New Mexico. The Trump administration had denied any responsibility for her death in the immediate aftermath, insinuating that Congress incentivized the trek for migrants trying to enter the U.S.
The death of the second child comes amid a government shutdown surrounding a lack of agreement on a budget for a wall between Mexico and the U.S. The shutdown has left federal employees reeling during the holiday season, and could continue into January.
People on Twitter are pointing out to Trump that it’s a leader’s job to take responsibility for what happens during his or her administration.
That’s funny... I thought you were the one in charge?— JimiSquid (@Jimisquid) December 30, 2018
Your plan this time is to shut the government and blame the Democrats, thinking that the Americans people’s will follow you. We all know your game , you are to blame for the shutdown .— Yacouba Jones (@jones_yacouba) December 30, 2018
The first Guatemalan child to die under CBP protection, Jakelin Caal Maquin, was buried in Guatemala on Christmas Day.
By Sunday morning, Trump was celebrating his approval ratings from an Associated Press poll of veterans, specifically citing a statistic about his handling of border security.
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque