8-Year-Old Dies in Hospital After Illegally Crossing Border into US

26 December, 2018, 22:59 | Author: Angelica Greene
  • Migrant children travelling to the US playing at a temporary shelter in Mexico. Following the death of two children in US custody this month the US said all children in Border Patrol custody have been given a

An 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died in government custody early Tuesday, U.S. immigration authorities said, marking the second death of an immigrant child in detention this month.

Hospital staff diagnosed the boy with a common cold and a fever, and released him in the mid-afternoon with prescriptions for antibiotics and ibuprofen.

The agency says that the boy was returned to the hospital Monday evening with nausea and vomiting. He died in the early hours of Tuesday.

It has also notified Homeland Security and the Guatemalan government.

"Heartbroken to hear of a second child's death in CBP custody", tweeted Nydia Velazquez, a Democratic congresswoman from NY.

President Donald Trump has made hardline immigration policies a central plank of his presidency, drawing fire from critics who accuse him of demonizing migrants for political gain.

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Democratic members of Congress and immigration advocates sharply criticized CBP's handling of Jakelin's death and questioned whether border agents could have prevented it by spotting symptoms of distress or calling for an evacuation by air ambulance sooner. He said the order will focus on children under 10.

Tensions on the border are on the rise as Mexican authorities have said that more than 8,200 asylum-seeking migrants from Central America have reached Mexico, with around 7,400 of the migrants staying near the cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, just south of California, while attempting to access United States territory. The cause of death was under investigation.

Hours later, the pair were transported by bus to the nearest Border Patrol Station in Lordsburg-which is approximately 90 minutes away.

Guatemala called for an investigation into the boy's death and some USA lawmakers angrily denounced the Trump administration's immigration policy.

The Washington Post, who first reported her death, quoted border officials as saying she had died of liver failure brought about by dehydration and shock, and that she "reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days". He had been in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection with his father, Agustin Gomez, since December 18.

"This is inexcusable", she said in a statement Tuesday.

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On Monday morning, an agent noticed that the boy "was coughing and appeared to have glossy eyes".

The Guatemalan foreign ministry called for an investigation "in accordance with due process". The border agents later had to clean the boy's vomit, but the father "declined further medical assistance" for the boy.

Guatemala's Consul General in Phoenix, Oscar Padilla Lam, met with the boy's father in Almagordo to "hear his version of the facts", according to the statement. Her body was taken to Guatemala for burial.

CBP typically doesn't keep immigrants in holding facilities for more than 72 hours because they don't have the services offered at the larger ICE detention centers.

The CBP said it had not established the cause of death but would "ensure an independent and thorough review of the circumstances".

Emergency medical teams flew her to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, where she died two days later. "Instead of immediately acting to keep children and all of us safe along our border, this administration forced a government shutdown over a wall".

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