Second child dies at Mexico-US border
- Author: Tracy Klein Dec 26, 2018,
Dec 26, 2018, 20:49
The boy was given amoxicillin and Ibuprofen for a cold and a fever and released by the hospital, but he returned later in the evening with worsening symptoms.
Felipe and his father were detained by CBP for about a week, an unusually long time that the agency did not fully explain Tuesday.
In a similar case, a 7-year-old girl died after traveling through Mexico and crossing the border illegally with her father. The girl, Jakelin Caal Maquin, had been apprehended in New Mexico after crossing the southern border into the USA illegally with her father.
That death is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General, which looks into accusations of misconduct by the agency's employees.
She became sick on the bus ride to a border patrol station and arrived with a 41-degree Celsius fever. He had been in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection with his father, Agustin Gomez, since December 18. Alamogordo is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) from El Paso.
The Guatemalan government has been notified and is in touch with the father and family members in Guatemala, CBP said. They were told to go back to CBP custody.
Her dad has been identified as 29-year-old Nery Caal in American media.
First, Border Patrol is conducting secondary medical checks on all children in CBP care and custody with a particular focus on children under 10.
CBP said in a statement it is "considering options for surge medical assistance" from the Coast Guard and could also reach out to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Agents last month also apprehended 25,172 "family units", or parents and children together.
A CBP spokesman on Tuesday did not respond to questions about the ministry's statement.
The statement says the boy showed signs of illness on Christmas Eve and both were transferred to the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center.
CBP has promised "an independent and thorough review".
The Guatemalan foreign ministry called for an investigation "in accordance with due process". Her death - which brought down heavy criticism on US immigration authorities - is also under investigation.
At 2307 hours, radio traffic indicated that the agent had arrived at GCRMC where he was met by hospital staff. o The GCRMC staff were unable to revive the child and pronounced him deceased at 2348 hours on December 24, 2018. o The child's body will be transported to Alamogordo Funeral Home pending transfer to Albuquerque for autopsy.
Large numbers of Guatemalan families have been arriving in recent weeks in New Mexico, often in remote and risky parts of the desert.
CBP issued a timeline of what it said happened before Felipe's death.
Thousands of migrants have travelled from Central America to the United States border.
"This is a tragic loss". The Guatemalan government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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.