Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has ordered medical checks on all children in its custody after an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died this week.
The boy was the second child this month to die while in CBP custody. A 7-year-old girl, Jakelin Caal Maquin, died earlier this month after she was detained along with other migrants who illegally crossed the southern border.
CBP said in a statement that it is "conducting secondary medical checks upon all children in CBP care and custody" adding that it is "considering options for surge medical assistance” from other agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
CBP is already receiving assistance from the Coast Guard, according to the statement.
The deaths have happened as the border has become a political flashpoint, with President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE railing over the dangers of caravans of Central Americans seeking to enter the United States.
Parts of the U.S. government shut down Saturday as Trump fights to fund a border wall on the U.S. southern border.
The Guatemalan boy died just before midnight Monday after he was taken to a hospital in New Mexico.
According to reports, 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 ibuprofen. He was then taken back to the hospital that night after appearing "lethargic and nauseous."
He was pronounced dead late that night. He and his father had been detained for about a week before his death.
The hospital, the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, declined comment to The Associated Press.
CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan in a statement called the boy's death "a tragic loss."
“This is a tragic loss. On behalf of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, our deepest sympathies go out to the family," McAleenan said.
The Associated Press reported that the White House has referred questions about the latest case to the Department of Homeland Security.
Border Patrol and CBP employees continue working despite the partial government shutdown.
The Hill has reached out to CBP for comment.