The death of a Guatemalan toddler in New Jersey drew protesters to an immigrant detention center in Elizabeth to demand justice.
“What country do we live in, that a baby — a baby fleeing violence with her mother — seeking asylum in our country, that this baby ends up dead?” asked Sara Cullinane, the state director of Make the Road New Jersey, at the protest late last week.
Mariee Juarez died at a hospital in New Jersey after being released with her mother, Jazmin, from an ICE detention center in Texas in March. They had been locked up after crossing the U.S. southern border, seeking asylum. Within a week, Mariee became very sick. “She was put on a plane and arrived here to reunite with her family in New Jersey and was almost immediately taken to the hospital,” Cullinane said. She died of a bronchial infection and hemorrhage. Her family intends to sue for “negligent supervision” and “wrongful death.”
CoreCivic, a private company which operates the center in Elizabeth, also runs the Texas center where the child and her mother were detained. The mother is with family in New Jersey and has applied for asylum.
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