Progressive freshman Democrats wore pins to the State of the Union Tuesday bearing the photo of Jakelin Caal Maquin, the 7-year-old girl from Guatemala who died in U.S. custody at the border last year.
Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted Monday that she would be wearing the pin into the House chamber during the president’s address. She was joined by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
The pins served as a rebuke to President Donald Trump’s argument for a southern border wall Tuesday night; while Trump has argued that criminal migrants are crossing the border at crisis levels, border apprehensions have trended downward. The pins underlined that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has actually been strained by a surge in apprehensions of unaccompanied children and families from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Caal Maquin died after 25 hours in the custody of the Border Patrol following a journey to New Mexico from Guatemala with her father. Felipe Gomez Alonzo, an 8-year-old boy who emigrated from Guatemala, also died in U.S. custody later that month.