Migrant dies in Border Patrol custody within months of two child deaths

A 45-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico reportedly died in Customs and Border Protection (CPB) custody on Monday morning.

CPB released a statement Monday night saying that the immigrant, who was arrested Feb. 2 after illegally crossing the border into Texas, died after being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and congestive heart failure, according to USA Today. 

This is the third death in the agency’s custody since December, when two children from Guatemala died within weeks of each other.


The immigrant, whose identity was not released, requested medical attention after being arrested. They were later “cleared” by hospital officials and released back into Border Patrol custody, according to the statement. The immigrant again requested medical attention and was brought back to the hospital and diagnosed with the liver and heart conditions. The immigrant died Monday in the hospital, and the official cause of death is unknown.

CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan said in the statement that the “loss of life is tragic.”

"Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones,” Meehan said. “CBP remains committed to ensuring the safe and humane treatment of those within the care of our custody."

Meehan said that Congress and the Mexican government have both been notified of the death, under new notification guidelines for the agency.

In December, two migrant children, ages 7 and 8, died in federal custody after crossing the border into the U.S. The deaths were widely condemned, and prompted the Department of Homeland Security to begin conducting secondary medical checks on children in the agency’s custody.

Agency officials said at the time that until the deaths in December, there had not been any child deaths in CBP custody for at least a decade.