An immigrant child dies after being detained at the US and Mexico border

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  • Wed, 12/26/2018 - 10:00
Muere un niño inmigrante tras ser detenido en la frontera de EE.UU. y México
  • EFE

Beatriz Pascual Macías

An eight-year-old immigrant boy, originally from Guatemala, died today in a hospital in the state of New Mexico for reasons that are still unknown and after being arrested for illegally crossing the border with Mexico, reported the US Border Police today.

In a communiqué, the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) reported that the child died today, Christmas Day, past midnight at the Gerald Champion Regional Hospital, in the city of Alamogordo, which is located in New Mexico and in the desert of Chihuahua.

He is the second minor who dies this month in the custody of US authorities.

The child began to show signs of "possible illness" on Monday, Christmas Eve and was transferred with his father to the Gerald Champion Regional hospital.

Once there, the doctors determined that the child suffered from a common cold; but, when they were going to discharge him, they noticed that he had a fever and they decided to leave him another 90 minutes under observation, and then he was discharged with a prescription to take ibuprofen and amoxicillin.

However, the child's health worsened: he began to feel nauseated and vomited, so that the immigration agents took him back to the Gerald Champion Regional hospital, where he died shortly after midnight, on Christmas day.

The Guatemalan government was notified of the death of the child and today demanded the US authorities. a "clear" investigation and "safekeeping" of due process under the circumstances that led to the death of the child, whose name is still unknown.

The Executive of the Central American country reacted in a similar way to the death of the girl Jakelin Caal Maquín, 7 years old.

The child died on December 8 at a children's hospital in El Paso (Texas) after having illegally crossed the border with Mexico with her father and within a large group of immigrants, who tried to enter the US through a desert area of New Mexico.

Despite being in their custody, the US Government denied any responsibility for the death of the child; who, according to the hospital in El Paso, died of dehydration, fever and septic shock, although the results of the autopsy are still unknown.

So, activists and members of the US Congress harshly criticized the immigration authorities, who hid the death of the girl for a week.

In declarations to EFE, the director for the Americas of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Jose Miguel Vivanco, considered today that the death of a second Guatemalan child in the custody of the US authorities "lights up all the alarms about the migratory policies" of the president, Donald Trump.

Vivanco asked to understand this event as part of the harsh policies implemented by Trump: from the separation of immigrant families on the border to the restriction of the right to asylum.

It is necessary, in Vivanco's opinion, a "credible, serious and reliable investigation" both on the death of the child and on the conditions under which migrant minors are detained, and considered that this responsibility could be assumed by the new Congress, which will be installed in January.

On January 3, legislators who were elected in last November's elections will take possession of their seats and the House of Representatives will pass into the hands of Democrats, which will allow that party to monitor the immigration policies implemented by the president.

The general inspector of the National Security Department, who controls immigration policy and supervises CBP, is investigating the death of the little Guatemalan child and has been notified of the new death, so an internal investigation could initiate.

However, Human Rights Watch, the Union for Civil Liberties in America (ACLU) and the legislators of the Hispanic Caucus believe that these internal procedures are insufficient and that the new Congress should prioritize the immigration issue and investigate whether the US is protecting the rights of immigrants.

In recent years, migration to the United States has increased of children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras fleeing from violence and lack of opportunities. EFEUSA


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