Infant migrant develops pneumonia in border control custody: report

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A Honduran five-month-old girl is hospitalized with pneumonia in North Carolina after spending time in immigration detention cells, reported Buzzfeed News.

The girl’s mother, who was only identified as A. Portillo in the report, claimed she illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border near Tijuana on Dec. 12, before being detained by the Border Patrol.

{mosads}Portillo, 23, said she and her daughter were then placed in immigration detention cells known as hieleras or iceboxes, where she described the temperature as “freezing.”

Immigration agents did not allow her to keep an antibiotic, amoxicillin, that her daughter had been taking, according to Portillo in the Buzzfeed report.

Agents confiscated the medicine, downplayed the girl’s illness and did not provide access to a doctor, Portillo told Buzzfeed.

Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I said I needed a hospital because her breathing was getting worse,” Portillo told Buzzfeed. “The agents told me I wasn’t in a position to be asking for anything and that they didn’t tell me to come to the United States.”

Portillo’s case comes a week after the Dec. 8 death of Jackelin Caal, a Guatemalan 7-year-old girl who died in custody of CBP.

Caal’s case has prompted backlash against the administration’s management of unaccompanied and undocumented children, and an internal investigation at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The Trump administration on Tuesday reversed its policy of fingerprinting all members of the household of sponsors who apply to care for unaccompanied immigrant children who are detained in the U.S., potentially allowing for the release of thousands of unaccompanied minors in the near future.

Buzzfeed reported Portillo and her daughter were transferred from the holding facility at the San Ysidro port of entry after two days, and spent a further three days in a San Diego detention center.

The two were later released, Portillo with an ankle monitor, and flew to North Carolina to reunite with family.

Portillo said her daughter had a 102.7 degree fever and was hospitalized in North Carolina, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Portillo said she is seeking asylum in the U.S. after fleeing domestic abuse and gang violence. 

Tags Honduran caravan

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