Another migrant child dies in US government custody


Another migrant child from Guatemala who was being held in US government custody died Tuesday in a New Mexico hospital after illegally crossing the US border from Mexico, Customs and Border Protection reported.

In a statement, CBP said that the 8-year-old boy died on Christmas Day shortly after midnight for as yet undetermined reasons.

At the beginning of December, a 7-year-old girl, also from Guatemala, died in the custody of US immigration authorities after illegally crossing the country’s southern border.

As CBP said in its statement, the boy began showing “signs of potential illness” on Monday while in the custody of border agents.

One of the agents observed that the boy was not feeling well and he was transported, with his father, to Gerald Champion Regional Hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

During the 90 minutes that the boy was at the hospital, doctors diagnosed the boy with a cold and a fever, gave him prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen and then released him on Monday afternoon, CBP said.

On Monday evening, however, the boy began experiencing nausea and vomiting and so immigration personnel decided to return him to the hospital, where he died shortly after midnight.

The Guatemalan government requested a “clear” investigation into the boy’s death.

Guatemala’s consul in Phoenix, Oscar Padilla Lam, “is following this incident and has traveled to the scene where he is waiting to be able to interview the father of the boy to be able to learn his version of events,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

CBP has promised “an independent and thorough review of the circumstances,” but the agency has not yet said when the father and son entered the US or how long they were detained, noting only that the boy had been “previously apprehended” by border agents.