Yazmin Juarez has filed a wrongful death claim and seeks $60 million from the US government after her child died weeks after they were released from a Texas immigration detention center in Dilley.
Juarez’s 19-month-old daughter, Mariee, passed away six weeks after they were released from the facility. She and her attorney allege that ICE and people running the facility gave substandard medical care for her child after she suffered a respiratory infection while in the immigration facility.
Attorney R. Stanton Jones said in a statement: “The US government had a duty to provide this little girl with safe, sanitary living conditions and proper medical care but they failed to do that resulting in tragic consequences.
“Mariee entered Dilley a healthy baby girl and 20 days later was discharged a gravely ill child with a life-threatening respiratory infection. Mariee died just months before her 2nd birthday because ICE and others charged with her medical care neglected to provide the most basic standard of care as her condition rapidly deteriorated and her mother Yazmin pleaded for help.”
Juarez and her child were detained by immigration officials after they came from Guatemala and crossed into the US through the Rio Grande. They were held for three weeks in south Texas Family Residential Center.
The mother sought medical treatment for Mariee six days after they arrived at the facility. The child became ill and Juarez repeatedly sought health care but was only prescribed medication that didn’t help her condition.
As soon as they were released from the detention center, Juarez took her daughter to New Jersey and sought medical attention. The child was hospitalized for respiratory failure for 6 weeks and passed away at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Juarez’s lawyer said.
“After it became clear that Mariee was gravely ill, ICE simply discharged mother and daughter,” Jones said. “Yazmin immediately sought medical care for her baby, but it was too late.”
Juarez filed claims against numerous government agencies, including the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Department of Homeland Security.
A spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said: “ICE is committed to ensuring the welfare of all those in the agency’s custody, including providing access to necessary and appropriate medical care.
“… Staffing includes registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, licensed mental health providers, mid-level providers that include a physician’s assistant and nurse practitioner, a physician, dental care and access to 24-hour emergency care.”
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