An 8-Year-Old Child From Guatemala Died in US Custody on Christmas Day


An 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died early Tuesday morning while in the custody of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), according to an official statement from CBP. He was being treated for fever, nausea, and vomiting at a hospital in New Mexico at his time of death.

The child’s identity has not yet been disclosed, but per CBP, he and his father were in custody on December 24 when the child began showing symptoms of illness. He was transferred to the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and released that afternoon. In the evening, his symptoms returned, and he was transferred back to the hospital, where he died shortly after midnight. It is unclear how or when the child and his father arrived in the United States.

Here is CBP’s whole statement:

Earlier this month, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquín died of dehydration, fever, and septic shock while in U.S. custody; her body was transported back to her native Guatemala for burial over the weekend. Jakelin’s death prompted increased public scrutiny into how US Border Patrol handles migrants at the border, with protestors accusing CBP of delaying the little girl’s treatment. Meanwhile, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, blamed Jakelin’s father, who was seeking asylum for himself and his daughter in the United States, for choosing to “cross illegally.”

News of the latest migrant child’s death followed reports that Donald Trump will not budge on an ongoing government shutdown until Democrats agree to fund a wall on the US-Mexico border.

“I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!”

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