8-year-old boy dies in CBP custody

An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody has died, the agency said in a news release.
 
The boy died shortly before midnight Monday after being transferred to the hospital earlier in the day, CBP stated.
 
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According to the report, the boy's father was with him in the hospital, where he was initially diagnosed with a cold. After doctors discovered a fever, he was kept for observation for 90 minutes, but then released with prescriptions for antibiotics and pain relievers.
 
CBP has ordered medical checks on all children in its custody following the boy's death.
 
The child, whose name was not released, returned to the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center later that evening with symptoms of nausea and vomiting, where he passed away.
 
CBP says the official cause of death remains unknown and it will conduct an investigation. 
 
The unnamed boy is the second child to die in recent weeks in CBP custody. A 7-year-old girl, Jakelin Caal Maquin, died earlier this month after she and her father were apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.
 
The deaths have taken place against a backdrop of political turmoil on the border, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ MORE railing over the dangers of caravans of Central Americans seeking to enter the United States.
 
Parts of the U.S. government also shut down on Saturday in a fight over funding for Trump's wall on the Mexican border. 
 
In the statement, CBP noted that the Department of Homeland Security "has continued to see a dramatic increase in unaccompanied children and family units arriving at our borders illegally or without authorization."
 
The Trump administration's hard-line policies on the border have been controversial and have sparked repeated attacks from Democrats, which are only likely to step up after the latest death.

Congressional Democrats expressed outrage at the news.

"What is happening at our southern border?! This makes the second death of a young child at our border in as many weeks. This is outrageous! This shocks the conscience," Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeFormer interpreter for US troops in Afghanistan detained by CBP, threatened with deportation The Hill's Morning Report — Groundhog Day: Negotiations implode as shutdown reaches 20 days Dems move to protect Mueller in new Congress MORE (D-Texas) wrote.

 

"This will not go unanswered," wrote Rep. Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaOn The Money: Shutdown Day 25 | Dems reject White House invite for talks | Leaders nix recess with no deal | McConnell blocks second House Dem funding bill | IRS workers called back for tax-filing season | Senate bucks Trump on Russia sanctions Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight Democrats turn down White House invitation for shutdown talks MORE (D-Calif.).

Rep. Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralHere are the lawmakers who will forfeit their salaries during the shutdown 8-year-old boy dies in CBP custody Hispanic Caucus picks Castro as its next chair MORE (D-N.Y.) said CBP was unprepared for dealing with medical emergencies. "It is clear #CBP is not trained nor prepared to provide medical or emergency responses to anyone in its custody & especially not to children," he wrote.

Maquin, also a Guatemala national, had begun having seizures roughly eight hours after being taken into custody with her father. Emergency responders measured her temperature at over 105 degrees, according to the Washington Post. She died within 24 hours of arriving at the hospital.

The girl's family and CBP dispute the details of her death. CBP said that she had reportedly not consumed food or water in several days, but denies allegations from her family that it did not provide food or water during the first eight hours they were detained.

The family and CBP also dispute when the girl was showing signs of illness. Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroGillibrand to visit 'The Late Show' amid reported 2020 plans Julián Castro: Trump 'failed the people of Puerto Rico' Julián Castro hits Trump in campaign launch: 'A crisis of leadership' MORE (D-Texas), one of roughly a dozen Congressional Democrats who visited the site following Maquin's death, said that it was the result of "some very disturbing systematic failures."

Updated on Wednesday at 7:35 a.m.