Migrant Mother Testifies on Toddler’s Death at the Border
"I watched my baby girl die, slowly and painfully." Listen to Yazmin Juárez's heartbreaking testimony about her toddler's death shortly after they were released from a detention center.
"I watched my baby girl die slowly and painfully."
This migrant mother gave a wrenching testimony about the loss of her daughter who died after being held in ICE custody. After the interview, the ICE official asked her why, for what had she come to the United States. She responded for her child’s future, but they hardly let her talk. And they said, “You know, this country is for Americans. My president is Donald Trump. We can take your little girl away from you and lock you in jail.” She came to the United States where she hoped to build a better and safer life for her daughter Mariee. Unfortunately, she watched her baby girl die slowly and painfully just a few months before her second birthday.
Mariee had always been a super happy girl, and very healthy. She made the journey from Guatemala without any problems. They were held in CBP custody for three or four days in a facility known as the icebox because it’s known to freezing cold. They were locked in a cage with more than 30 other people — moms and children — and were forced to sleep on the concrete floor. Mariee died on what is Mother's Day in their country of origin. When she walked out of the hospital that day, all she had with her was a piece of paper with Mariee’s handprints in pink paint that the staff had created for me. It was the only thing that she had left. Only her hands. And the nurses had made it the day before as a Mother’s Day gift.
“You have no idea how hard it’s been for me to move forward without my daughter. I’m here today because I want to put an end to this. They shouldn’t allow any more children to die. Mariee could’ve been here today, but she isn’t,” concludes refugee mother Yazmin Juárez.