Mi Familia Vota grieves the death of an innocent seven-year-old whose life ended in Border Patrol custody


Mi Familia Vota grieves the death of an innocent seven-year-old whose life ended in Border Patrol custody. 

Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, issued the following statement:

“The death of a child in U.S. custody is unacceptable. As a parent, my heart is torn for the father of Jakelin Amei Rosemary Caal Maquin. As a citizen, I am outraged that our country operates with systems not designed to uphold basic human rights, and leadership who minimizes the value of life by continuing to tolerate these deaths. President Trump and Republicans have continuously stopped efforts to bring immigration reform and these are the results of their actions.  

“It’s time for introspection and action. We must recognize that our current approach to migrants is ethically flawed; we have to start with the premise that migrant lives are valuable, because they are. The migrant camps, detention centers, and holding cells are incompatible with human needs. Furthermore, there are repeated reports of abuse, lack of medical care, and extreme organizational incapacity to properly run these operations. Now is the time to end these practices, to defund these institutions, which have not been able to meet basic living standards, and to look for solutions that work in a way that upholds our national values.

“We are the most powerful country in the world, we can keep migrant children alive. We call on Congress to pass legislation that will end operations that put immigrant lives at risk and end the impunity that is allotted to agencies that interact with immigrants. As a community, we have to commit to monitoring our elected officials’ responses to this tragedy and ensure that they bring forth and pass laws that can resolve immigration needs while avoiding deaths. Statements and condolences are not justice for little Jakelin.”


Mi Familia Vota is a national civic engagement organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation. Mi Familia Vota has operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.