US announces steps to prevent more immigrant child deaths


US announces steps to prevent more immigrant child deaths
FILE - A medical clinic at the Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas, June 14, 2018.

In Summary

  • Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo passed away just after midnight Christmas Day, the same day a 7-year-old girl was laid to rest in her impoverished Guatemalan village.
  • The cause of the child's death is unknown but Customs and Border Patrol promises an "independent and thorough review."

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a second Guatemalan child who died while in the custody of U.S. border patrol agents.

Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo passed away just after midnight Christmas Day, the same day a 7-year-old girl was laid to rest in her impoverished Guatemalan village.

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said while the boy and his father, Agustin Gomez, were in its custody Monday, agents noticed the child was showing signs of “potential illness.”

Doctors at a hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico diagnosed Felipe with a cold and fever and released him with prescription medications.

The child became nauseous and started vomiting Monday night, prompting his return to the hospital where he died shortly after midnight.

The cause of the child’s death is unknown but Customs and Border Patrol promises an “independent and thorough review.” It has also notified Homeland Security and the Guatemalan government, which has requested an investigation.

Following the recent deaths, CBP announced a series of moves Tuesday night.

The agency is now conducting follow-up medical checks on all children in its custody with emphasis on children under the age of 10.

CBP is also collaborating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to provide more transportation to residential centers and to address capacity issues in the El Paso, Texas area.

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