Published: Wed, December 26, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

8-Year-Old Guatemalan Boy Dies In Customs Border Patrol Custody

8-Year-Old Guatemalan Boy Dies In Customs Border Patrol Custody

The boy, identified by Texas congressman Joaquin Castro as Felipe Alonzo Gomez, had been transferred to a New Mexico medical centre showing signs of sickness on Christmas Eve, the agency said yesterday.

Hospital staff diagnosed the boy with a common cold but when he was evaluated for release they diagnosed a fever.

The child was returned to the hospital Monday evening with vomiting and died hours later.

The agency said that the cause of death had not been determined, and that the Department of Homeland Security's inspector-general and the Guatemalan government had been notified.

A CBP spokesman declined to elaborate Tuesday, but said more details would be released shortly.

The death of the boy comes the same month as the death of Jakelin Caal Maquin, a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who also died in US custody, according to The New York Times.

Jakelin's body was returned to Guatemala on Monday.

It is the second such death of an immigrant child this month.

Jakelin Caal and her father had been detained by immigration authorities on December 6 in New Mexico as part of a group of 163 people who approached United States agents to turn themselves in, it was reported.

The child, who has not yet been named, is the second migrant child to have died in U.S. detention this month.

CBP announced last week that it would begin informing Congress and the media within 24 hours after someone dies in its custody.

Amnesty International USA Executive Director Margaret Huang said the administration's "policies of cruelty toward migrants and asylum-seekers at the border must cease immediately before any more children are harmed". The form was in English, but CBP officials said agents provided a verbal translation.

Guatemala called on U.S. authorities to conduct a "clear" investigation of the death, adding that "medical reports have been requested.to clarify the cause of death of the child".

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.

Both were taken to a hospital in New Mexico. She was ultimately flown to an El Paso hospital, where she died the next day.

"I was like, 'wow, ' I was shocked", Collman told The Post and Courier of Charleston, describing her call with Trump.

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