Migrant Child Dies In Border Patrol Custody; Second In A Month


Tuesday, December 25th 2018, 3:29 pm
By: News 9


An 8-year-old migrant boy from Guatemala apprehended by immigration authorities near the U.S.-Mexico border died on Christmas morning, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

 

In a press release Tuesday afternoon, the agency said the Guatemalan child showed "signs of potential illness" on Christmas Eve and was transferred, along with his father, to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The boy was initially diagnosed with a common cold and fever and was released after being prescribed antibiotics, authorities said. 

During the evening on Dec. 24, however, officials said the boy experienced nausea and vomiting, and was again transferred to the same hospital, where he died early the next day.  

Customs and Border Protection said the child's official cause of death has not been determined. The agency added that the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General and the Guatemalan government had been notified, and that they were "engaging" with the boy's father, as well with family members in Guatemala. 

Critics seized on the incident to condemn the administration's handling of immigration.

"Thanks to the Trump Administration, this is Christmas at the border. Another tragedy and death of a child while in the custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as the world watches," Congressman Adriano Espaillat, D-New York, said in statement on Tuesday. 

The boy's death comes two weeks after another migrant child, Jakelin Caal Maquin, died after being detained by border agents. The 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died on Dec. 8 after reportedly experiencing dehydration and high fever. Her death provoked scathing criticism of immigration authorities by Democrats, who said the death was a result of President Trump's "cruel and inhumane" immigration agenda. 

 

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Jakelin's death was "a very sad example of the dangers of this journey."

"This family chose to cross illegally," she added. 

The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the girl's death. 

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