Her death highlights a rarely discussed reality that's been playing out at the US-Mexico border in recent years: A growing number of migrants from India have been crossing there.
That's still a small percentage -- about 2% of the overall number of migrants apprehended at the Southwest border in fiscal year 2018. The clear majority of migrants apprehended at the border came from Latin American countries, largely from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
But the increase in Indians apprehended is notable. And it's part of a larger trend.
An increase in Indian nationals and other migrants from outside the Western Hemisphere illegally crossing the US-Mexico border has been "an emerging trend for the past few years," a Department of Homeland Security official told CNN Friday.
The apprehensions of migrants from Bangladesh at the southwest border also increased significantly from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018, nearly doubling from 564 to 1,198.
"With this girl from India, there hasn't been confirmation that she was traveling in a family, but it's likely," Bolter said. "This trend of increased family migration is echoing not just throughout Central America, but also beyond even the Americas. It indicates the message that families can enter the US easily is spreading."
But Bolter says migrants from outside the Americas have been making their way to the US-Mexico border for at least the past decade.
"They generally tend to fly in to places like Brazil or Ecuador, places that have more lax visa policies, and then continue on smuggling routes up north through Central America and Mexico to the US," Bolter says.
In 2019, she says, the number appears to be climbing as overall numbers of families apprehended at the border increase.
"The number of migrants being apprehended at the border from other continents has already doubled compared to last year," she says.
Department of Homeland Security officials have been sounding the alarm for months over what they describe as a humanitarian crisis at the border and a significant shift in who is illegally crossing it.
"This crisis is unlike anything our country has ever faced," he said.
CNN's Faith M. Karimi, Geneva Sands, Priscilla Alvarez and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.