Blaming the Border Patrol, Part 2

Blaming the Border Patrol, Part 2

Blaming the Border Patrol, Part 2

Here we go again. The media is spazzing out over claims by an illegal alien mother that the US Border Patrol kept her and her 5-month-old infant in a cold cell causing her to contract pneumonia. But as you already know from previous reporting on similar claims about Border Patrol’s alleged “neglect,” there’s more to the story.

A. Portillo, the girl’s mother (who asked to be identified only by her first initial because she is fleeing from an abusive partner), said she jumped a low part of the border fence with her daughter on Dec. 12 near Tijuana before being detained by Border Patrol agents.

The 23-year-old mother said she and her daughter were then placed in holding cells that migrants call hieleras, or iceboxes. The holding cells have been criticized by human rights advocates who describe them as “often poor and in several critical respects identical to those previously found by US courts to be in violation of [Customs and Border Protection’s] obligations and prior commitments.”

The girl had been taking the antibiotic amoxicillin, but Portillo said she wasn’t allowed to keep the medication in detention. She described the temperatures inside the cells as “freezing.”

So the child had been taking an antibiotic before reaching the border. Mommy dearest dragged a sick infant over the border fence and into our country illegally, where she was rightfully detained by authorities, but somehow it’s Border Patrol agents’ fault that the child got sick?

Border Patrol agents process hundreds of illegal aliens per day, and they have to do it in the most expeditious way possible, because each day brings 40-100 more migrants through our borders. So yes, medical exams are cursory, and the facilities aren’t exactly comfortable. They aren’t meant to be long-term.

The woman after two days at the closest port of entry and three days in San Diego, was flown to Charlotte, NC to stay with family. The article conveniently omits details about who paid for the flight and makes it clear that the child received medical care without demanding payment from the mother. Gosh, aren’t those American’s terrible?

“I’m a little worried about how I’m going to pay for all of this, but it doesn’t matter as long as she’s okay,” Portillo said. “I have my whole life to pay.”

That’s an interesting attitude. I know doctors and emergency personnel take care of indigent, desperate, ill people all the time, and payment is an afterthought for most of them when it comes to saving lives, but the mother’s attitude about paying for a service that is saving her child’s life is instructive. She doesn’t care. She has her whole life to pay. Doctors are rich, right?

So, she dragged a sick infant across the US border, knowing she was sick because she was told she would have to wait in Tijuana – like many others – to be processed in an orderly fashion after fleeing an abusive partner in Honduras.

But was she sick or healthy? The mother’s claims appear to be contradictory. “She was completely recovered,” Portillo claims. The baby was perfectly healthy! And yet, the baby was still on antibiotics, and somehow it’s the Border Patrol agents’ fault that she became ill.

She told NBC News that border agents took the antibiotic from her. “If I had been able to keep the drugs, maybe they would have made my baby better.”

Better than what? Portillo claims the little girl was perfectly healthy, but somehow it’s the Border Patrol’s fault that the infant became sick. Which is it? Was the baby sick before she illegally carried her across the border and the mean US authorities allegedly took away the medication that would have made her better, or was the baby “perfectly healthy?”

You can’t have it both ways.

But back to the media coverage.

Cold detention cells have been an issue for migrants from at least the Obama days, according to Human Rights Watch, but we heard little about them when Obama was in office. I wonder why…

I also wonder why the BuzzFeed article I initially cited is using photos of an infant crawling around on the floor in a filthy cell in 2015 without mentioning the fact that this is not the same infant as the one in the story, and that the photo was taken when Obama was in office.

The social worker at the hospital, after a conversation with Portillo, asked about the conditions under which the pair was held and claimed she’d never heard of cold cells, which strikes me as tone deaf given the media attention to the issue this year. And in an apparent attempt to exploit the social worker’s ignorance, Portillo told her, ” “It’s punishment for what we did.”

So there you have it, boys and girls. A mother drags a sick infant across the border, alternately claiming that the child was healthy and not, spends a few days in detention, and is released to her family in North Carolina, probably at taxpayer expense or at the very least thanks to the mercy and generosity of charitable Americans. The child gets sick, receives medical care for which the mother feels no need to pay, and then the mother proceeds to blame US authorities for the baby’s illness claiming her treatment was some kind of retaliation for violating US law.

The US Border Patrol says it’s investigating the allegation, but did send a report from June that says conditions in detention centers aren’t what the woman describes.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol told NBC News on Wednesday that it is working to get more information on this case. The agency emailed an internal report dated June 2018 that says holding cells are kept clean and at moderate temperatures between 66 and 80 degrees Farenheit.

Is it possible that the cell was cold? Sure. Is it more likely that the child contracted some kind of crud while traveling in a caravan with a bunch of possibly diseased migrants? I think so.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

But without having all the data, and with only the accusation of an illegal alien in hand, the media is once again vilifying the men and women tasked with protecting our borders. These are the same brave men and women who rescue children smuggled by coyotes in hot cars, and who provide water to migrants, and who rescue stranded children and adults from human smugglers.

Notice that when the facts started coming out about the death of little Jakelin Caal, whom US authorities tried unsuccessfully to save after her father dragged the child through the New Mexico desert without food or water, the screeching left demonizing the US Border Patrol fell strangely silent. One has to wonder whether they will wait for the facts to come out this time.

Featured photo: Wikimedia Commons (cropped)

Written by

Marta Hernandez is an immigrant, writer, editor, science fiction fan (especially military sci-fi), and a lover of freedom, her children, her husband and her pets. She loves to shoot, and range time is sacred, as is her hiking obsession, especially if we’re talking the European Alps. She is an avid caffeine and TWD addict, and wants to own otters, sloths, wallabies, koalas, and wombats when she grows up.

4 Comments
  • SFC D says:

    Cold holding cell? Bullshit. Temps are constantly monitored by CBP. They’re not toasty warm like gramma’s house, and no colder than your average hospital room. There’s only one person responsible for this child’s death. Mother of the year.

  • GWB says:

    the US Border Patrol kept her and her 5-month-old infant in a cold cell causing her to contract pneumonia
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! If this ‘mother’ had been paying attention to American media, she’d know that you can’t catch cold from being cold! Our venerable gov’t health experts have been telling us that for decades now!
    Neither WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, nor the CDC supports pneumonia being contracted because you are in a cold place.

    The girl had been taking the antibiotic amoxicillin
    IOW, she already had pneumonia!
    Oh, also, any indication where and when she got this antibiotic? Was it maybe provided by one of the “aid” groups that was helping these people along? Because that now places them in the position of conspiracy to violate our immigration laws, since they specifically prohibit infectious people from entering.

    the facilities aren’t exactly comfortable
    They should NOT be. They’re a jail cell. It *should be* a jail cell. They came her illegally, and they should be sent home without any hearing whatsoever, imo, if caught crossing the border.

    flown to Charlotte, NC to stay with family
    Were those family members legal residents or citizens? If not, then the entire tribe should have been immediately arrested and sent the f* home.

    I’m a little worried about how I’m going to pay for all of this
    Liar.

    Portillo claims…
    Well, yeah, she’s a LIAR. And possibly a dupe (being given lines to recite by some anti-American agitator).

    You can’t have it both ways.
    You can if you’re a progressive/Democrat.

    I love that screen capture on the video, btw. My very first thought was “OMG! We’re roasting them like Thanksgiving turkeys!” (Very many of them have pulled the space blankets over their heads, probably to keep out the light, and so they look like they’re being prepared in aluminum foil to be cooked.)

    “It’s punishment for what we did.”
    And? You invaded a foreign country and dragged your little girl along to do it. And you think we should welcome you?

    the mother proceeds to blame US authorities
    Now for the charitable interpretation: maybe she complained, but it’s also very likely the reporter twisted everything she said (or maybe an ‘interpreter’ the reporter was using) into the narrative she needed to confirm her own biases. Just sayin’.

    moderate temperatures between 66 and 80 degrees Farenheit
    LOL. I have to admit that I don’t consider either end of that to be “moderate”. But I’m a spoiled American, with (now that it’s fixed) central a/c and heat. 🙂

    with only the accusation of an illegal alien in hand
    That is, someone with no credibility, since their first act in America was to willfully violate the law.

    Good post, Marta.

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