Relatives of the Guatemalan boy who died in CBP custody speak out

Mani Albrecht  CBP  Cover Images  Newscom

Mani Albrecht CBP Cover Images Newscom

The agency did not say how many children are now under its care.

Now the head of Customs and Border Protection is reiterating calls for Congress to provide more funding to handle the influx of migrants crossing the border.

"They were built 30 to 40 years ago for single adult males, and we need a different approach". We need help from Congress.

DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen released a statement Wednesday. The agency also is reviewing other custody options to relieve capacity issues in the El Paso, Texas, sector, such as working with nongovernmental organizations or local partners for temporary housing. With no medical professional on duty at that time, agents chose to transfer both the boy and his father back to the hospital.

In the past three weeks, two Guatemalan children have died after they were detained with their fathers after crossing the border.

Jakelin Caal's family disputed some of the government's claims about what happened leading up to her death, saying the girl was healthy and had no pre-existing conditions when she and her father made the journey from Guatemala.

The mother of an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in US custody has revealed her family's reasons for bringing the boy on the risky trek to the USA border.

Felipe told his father he did not know what was wrong with him and that it felt like something was stuck in his throat, Gomez Lucas said.

The CBP chief called the young boy's death "a tragic loss".

Politico reports that "DHS is seeking to examine health conditions at Mexican migrant facilities", and that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will visit a handful of Mexican migrant shelters later this week.

Felipe is the second migrant child to die in the custody of USA border authorities this month. It's a nosebleed that doesn't stop.

December 18: The boy and his father were first apprehended by border agents about three miles west of the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry in El Paso, Texas. "Give people their due process", the official notes. It's sad. It's heartbreaking.

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We want to hear from you. The ones that are getting caught in the middle are the guys on the front lines. Congress should investigate this tragedy upon its return to session. CBP had reported that Jakelin didn't eat or consume water for several days on the trip northward. On Monday, the boy was taken to a hospital, diagnosed with a cold, released with medication, then taken back to the hospital before dying about 12 minutes before Christmas.

After the two deaths, the government announced that it would conduct additional medical screening for children and consider other changes. But an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday in Albuquerque, according to the University of New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator. Both deaths are under investigation. But asylum-seekers are often at the mercy of wherever smugglers drop them off, which can be far from a legal point of entry.

With regard to the partnership with the CDC, McAleenan said the two agencies would coordinate "on the numbers of children in custody as well" - a suggestion that drew sharp criticism from Rep. Lou Correa, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus from California and chairman-elect of the House Homeland Security Oversight Subcommittee. CBP said that the child vomited and lost consciousness on the way.

"Many questions remain unanswered, including how many children have died in CBP custody".

Nielsen reiterated Wednesday that six migrants, none of whom were children, died in the custody of Customs and Border Protection during fiscal year 2018.

It was not clear from the statement how and where those checks would be conducted.

The two recent child deaths were an "extraordinarily rare occurrence", McAleenan told CBS.

At 1:20 p.m., the child was "held for continued observation" after doctors found that he had a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

"In this age of high-tech interconnectivity why is it that we don't have an accurate headcount?" he asked.

So in response, CBP is suggesting a handful of changes to its policies, including adding secondary pediatric checks for all children in custody, instituting "surge" transportation for families with minor children from CBP facilities to family-oriented detention centers, and committing to routine checks of children in border patrol custody beyond 24 hours.

When asked whether the government shutdown for a border wall was worth it, McAleenan told CBS.

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