Second Guatemalan child dies after being detained by US border agents | US news

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An eight-year-old boy from Guatemala died in government custody early on Tuesday, US immigration authorities said, marking the second death of an immigrant child after being detained at the border between Mexico and the United States this month.

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US Customs and Border Protection said in a news release that the boy died shortly after midnight on Tuesday.

The boy showed “signs of potential illness” on Monday and was taken with his father to a hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico, the agency said. There, he was diagnosed with a cold and a fever, was given prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen and released on Monday afternoon after being held 90 minutes for observation, the agency said.

The boy was returned to the hospital on Monday evening with nausea and vomiting and died there just hours later, CBP said.

The agency said the cause of the boy’s death has not been determined and that it has notified the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general and the Guatemalan government.

CBP promised “an independent and thorough review of the circumstances”.

The border agency has not yet said when the father and son entered the United States or how long they were detained, saying only in its statement that the boy had been “previously apprehended”.

The father and son were not identified, and the agency statement said it will release more details “as available and appropriate”.

Alamogordo is about 90 miles (145km) from the US-Mexico border at El Paso, Texas. Ruben Garcia, director of El Paso’s Annunciation House, said on Tuesday that he had no reason to believe his shelter had served the family, but was waiting for further details about what happened.

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

A seven-year-old Guatemalan girl died earlier this month after being apprehended by border agents. The body of the girl, Jakelin Caal, was returned to her family’s remote village on Monday.

CBP announced new notification procedures in response to Jakelin’s death, which was not revealed until several days later.

Democratic members of Congress and immigration advocates sharply criticized CBP’s handling of the death and questioned whether border agents could have prevented it.

Jakelin’s wake was held on Monday, Christmas Eve, in her family’s village.



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