The head of U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement said Sunday that “our agents did everything they could” to help the two migrant children who died in the agency’s custody. Kevin McAleenan offered a defense of his agents ABC’s “This Week” on ABC’s “This Week” as the deaths of Felipe Gomez Alonzo and Jakelin Caal have inflamed the already contentious debate over Trump’s calls for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, Reuters reports. Trump has insisted that the budget include $5 billion for a wall, prompting an impasse in Congress that has resulted in a partial shutdown of the federal government. Trump on Saturday blamed the deaths of Alonzo, 8, and Caal, 7, on Congressional Democrats in a Twitter screed. Following the two children’s deaths, the agency announced that it would perform secondary medical exams of all children in its custody. McAleenan claimed that a border agent, who is also a paramedic, revived little Caal before taking her to an El Paso hospital, where she later died. He also said that border agent noticed that Alonzo was sick and made the decision to send him and his father to the hospital. “Our agents did everything they could, as soon as these children manifested symptoms of illness, to save their lives,” McAleenan said. He also said that Trump’s wall was “not just a dumb barrier,” Politico notes.
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