Boy who died in Border Patrol custody had flu, autopsy shows

Guatemalan boy who died in US custody had flu

Migrant boy, 8, dies after being detained in government custody

An 8-year-old boy from Guatemala has died in US Government custody early on Christmas Day, according to US immigration authorities, marking the second death of an immigrant child in detention this month.

As Common Dreams reported on Wednesday, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it will now order medical checks for all minors in its custody.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the boy displayed signs of illness Monday and was taken with his father to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a cold and a fever and prescribed amoxicillin and ibuprofen.

He was released on Monday afternoon but returned to the same hospital in the evening with nausea and vomiting.

It is considering requesting additional medical assistance from other agencies - including Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense - and coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the numbers of children in custody, the statement said.

On December 8, a seven year-old Guatemalan girl died two days after she was apprehended together with her father for illegal entry into the United States as part of a group of 163 undocumented immigrants.

Feinstein's letter followed an announcement Wednesday from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, that Congress would investigate the children's deaths.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has yet to give an official cause of death for the boy, prompting Democratic lawmakers to intensify calls for an investigation.

Smugglers often charge less than half the price if a child goes along, knowing that migrants can turn themselves in to border agents and will soon be released.

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It had been more than a decade since a child died in CBP custody, she added. But like others in the rural farming village of Yalambojoch, he decided that traveling with a child was the only way out.

Government officials did not comment on why exactly they think the father denied further treatment for his child, despite him exhibiting more severe symptoms.

Gomez Alonzo's death came less than three weeks after a 7-year old Guatemalan girl also died in CBP custody.

The officials said that medical workers had carried out new medical exams of nearly all the children in the care of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Gomez and his father were detained on December 18 in El Paso, Texas, for illegally entering the country, but several days later they were moved to the Alamogordo Border Patrol Station in New Mexico.

Opposition Democrats reacted to Gomez's death by accusing Trump - who has made hardline immigration policies a central plank of his presidency - of demonizing migrants for political gain.

"I hope that [CBP] will ask Congress for the medical resources and supplies and training and equipment and personnel that they need to properly treat the migrants who are arriving at the U.S. Mexico border", Castro said.

But the Trump administration said Caal's death showed the danger of her journey and the family's decision to cross the border illegally.

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