In August we reported about the tragic death of 19-month-old Mariee who passed away a mere six weeks after leaving an immigration detention center. Now, her mother, Yazmin Juarez is suing the U.S. government for $60 million.
“The U.S. 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,” Juarez’s attorney R. Stanton Jones, who is working pro-bono, said in a statement. “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 second 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. The U.S. government must take action immediately to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”
Juárez arrived in the U.S. on March 1 with her daughter and they were then detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley. A few days later, her baby caught a cold while being detained and her illness just got worse. They were then released and Juárez sought medical care. But Dr. Benard Dreyer, the former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a pediatrician at New York University Langone Health, went further to explain what happened to Mariee.
“After reviewing the medical records from Mariee’s treatment at the Dilley detention facility, it is clear that ICE medical staff failed to meet the most basic standard of care and engaged in some troubling practices such as providing pediatric care over a long period of time by non-physicians without supervision,” Dr. Dreyer said in a statement provided by her attorney. “If signs of persistent and severe illness are present in a young child, the standard of care is to seek emergency care. ICE staff did not seek emergency care for Mariee, nor did they arrange for intravenous antibiotics when Mariee was unable to keep oral antibiotics down. These are just a few of the alarming examples of how ICE medical staff failed to provide proper medical treatment to this little girl.”