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 TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations 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.

 

"This will not go unanswered," wrote Rep. Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaTop Latino group endorses Padilla for full Senate term Democrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates Democrats grasping at straws on immigration MORE (D-Calif.).

Rep. Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralTop Latino group endorses Padilla for full Senate term Ilhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' Democrats grasping at straws on immigration 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 CastroThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles Harris's delayed trip to Vietnam ratchets up Havana Syndrome fears Lawmakers flooded with calls for help on Afghanistan exit 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.