"Does the administration take responsibility for a parent taking a child on a trek through Mexico to get to this country? No."
In a statement sent to NPR, a spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the Border Patrol, stated, "As we have always said, traveling north illegally is extremely dangerous ... Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and the best efforts of the medical team treating the child, we were unable to stop this tragedy from occurring."
Eight hours after the girl and her father were taken into custody, she reportedly began experiencing seizures and her body temperature was measured at 105.7 degrees by emergency medical technicians
The girl "had not eaten or had any water for several days," Post reporter Nick Miroff told NPR's Morning Edition on Friday.
In a background briefing for reporters, a DHS official said that "without the life-saving measures by CBP, this child would have likely died in the desert alone."
A CBP official said that during an initial screening at a Border Patrol station in Antelope Wells, N.M., the girl showed no symptoms, and her father signed an English language form saying she had no current health issues.
The girl and her father were among a group of migrants who were then bused to a larger CBP facility in Lordsburg. It was during the ride that the girl began vomiting, the CBP official said.
When the bus arrived at its destination 90 minutes later, the official said the girl was not breathing and was resuscitated by Border Patrol agents.
She was said to have been flown by helicopter to a hospital in El Paso, Texas. The girl was revived after going into cardiac arrest but died less than 24 hours after being transported to the facility.
"On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the child," the Homeland Security spokesperson said in the statement. "Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child's life under the most trying of circumstances. As fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, we empathize with the loss of any child."
The girl's father has not been publicly identified; Miroff says he is in El Paso, where a charity group is providing support.
The CBP will investigate the case to determine whether the agency followed all correct procedures and policies. The Inspector General of DHS will also conduct an investigation.
Reacting to the girl's death, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) told NPR, "I think it's true that 163 people, for a small Border Patrol station, is a lot of people to deal with. But you would also think that you can identify someone who's on the verge of death."
The investigations should answer the question of whether the girl asked for food, water or help — and whether any was given, Castro said.
The incident comes as U.S. officials say they are holding almost 15,000 immigrant children in nearly full detention facilities. At the same time, border agents are apprehending more families with children than ever.
Castro says he blames President Trump's immigration policies for putting desperate people at risk, saying, "By limiting the ability of folks to present themselves at the port of entry, the Trump administration is making it more dangerous for these folks."
In November, 25,172 "family units" were apprehended at the southern border, according to a CBP report, an increase of more than 2,000 families since October. Last year, 7,016 families were apprehended in November.
The Post also reported:
"The small Border Patrol station in Lordsburg received a single group of 227 migrants on Thursday, according to CBP, after taking in separate group of 123 on Wednesday. Both groups — extremely large by CBP standards — mostly consisted of families and children, according to the agency.