Commissioner says CBP needs help after death of 2 migrant children

Commissioner says CBP needs help after death of 2 migrant children

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen skirted responsibility for the death of another migrant child in her agency's custody by piling blame on those who advocate for "open borders" (Democrats) and the parents and caretakers who bring their children on the "long and unsafe journey" to the USA border.

At the US southwestern border with Mexico, there are areas where no medical workers are available.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is calling for the Senate Judiciary Committee to convene for a meeting after a second child died while in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol.

United States Customs and Border Protection has announced changes to its official guidance for care of migrant children under 10 years of age.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Border Patrol officials spoke with reporters on Wednesday about the deaths.

The Trump administration has long argued smugglers capitalize on vulnerable parents because of "loopholes" in American law, such as anti-trafficking legislation passed in 2008 that effectively prevents the immediate deportations of Central American children. A USA congressman later identified the boy as Felipe Gómez Alonzo.

"All we want are those things, " she said.

Both Felipe and Jakelin came from rural communities with extreme poverty.

Father and son ended up in a holding cell in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on Christmas Eve, after days of being shuttled from one Border Patrol facility to another.

CBP said it apprehended Felipe and his father on December 18 about five kilometres away from an official port of entry, the Paso del Norte bridge connecting El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico.

He was not allowed to inform the family of the boy's death until December 26, Gomez Lucas said - a detail DHS did not confirm.

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Early in the morning, CBP filed a "placement request" for Felipe and his father to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) family placement inbox. The child later died after returning the hospital.

"We need to budget for medical care and mental health care for children in our facilities and I'm committed to improving our conditions, even as we work on the broader problems-border security, and of course solving the issues in our legal framework that are inviting these families and children to make this unsafe journey", he added.

Gomez Lucas said her father told her Felipe had vomited blood and it trickled out of his nose, which DHS wouldn't confirm.

CBP said in a statement that it needs the help of other government agencies to provide healthcare. "We need to budget for medical care and mental health care for children in our facilities". He died hours later, the CBP said.

Nasal and lung swabs taken from the body of Felipe Gomez Alonzo tested positive for influenza B, the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator said in a statement Thursday.

In a secondary statement about the boy's death, CBP announced updated procedures for the children in its care.

Agustin Gomez Perez was 47 and in debt, and the path to America would only deepen his obligations.

He also wanted a new bicycle, like another boy in the village purchased with money sent after his father went to work in the United States.

The boy lived with his father's family in a small wooden house with earthen floors.

"The Congress will also investigate this tragedy and the heartbreaking death of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin, to seek justice and ensure that no other child is left to such a fate".

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