Thursday, 17 January, 2019

US Officials Announce New Measures after Second Migrant Child Death

US Mexico border deaths monument Migrant boy, 8, dies after being detained in government custody
Johnnie Parks | 28 December, 2018, 23:41

Feinstein's letter followed an announcement Wednesday from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, that Congress would investigate the children's deaths. The agency "is considering options for surge medical assistance" from the U.S. Coast Guard and may request help from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defence and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The father of the 8-year-old migrant who died on December 25 took the boy with him on the unsafe trek from Guatemala to the United States because he heard a rumor that it would help him enter the country. CBP transported the 8-year-old and his father to a Border Patrol checkpoint on Highway 70, where agents gave them a hot meal and provided Felipe a dose of the prescribed medication.

CBP officers and the Border Patrol remain on the job despite the partial government shutdown over US President Donald Trump's demand for funding for a border wall.

The Trump administration has long argued smugglers capitalize on vulnerable parents because of "loopholes" in American law, such as anti-trafficking legislation passed in 2008 that effectively prevents the immediate deportations of Central American children. They also said they informed the Guatemalan government and members of the U.S. Congress.

The boy's mother, 31-year-old Catarina Alonzo Perez, said she spoke with her son the day before they arrived at the USA border.

She said she hoped the matter could be addressed through a hearing in 2019.

Both Felipe and Jakelin came from rural communities with extreme poverty.

The youngster passed away at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on Christmas Eve after falling ill.

The boy and his father entered the United States via El Paso, Texas, on December 18 and were transferred to a border patrol station in Alamogordo on December 23.

As Common Dreams reported on Wednesday, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it will now order medical checks for all minors in its custody. He was hospitalised twice that day before dying, the agency said. Still, for many migrants trying to cross the United States border, taking a child along was the "only option", he told Reuters.

Gomez Lucas said her father told her Felipe had vomited blood and it trickled out of his nose, which DHS wouldn't confirm.

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CBP said the boy and his father were provided food and water. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to call for a hearing on the treatment of children in border patrol custody, saying the Border Patrol facilities aren't equipped to care for them.

The father said Felipe asked him not to cry because he "was not going to get better", according to the boy's stepsister.

After experiencing nausea and vomiting, the child was taken back to the hospital, where he soon died, according to CBP.

On the morning of December 24, an agent noticed Gomez "was coughing and appeared to have glossy eyes", CBP said, and the father and son were transferred to a nearby hospital.

Alonzo died early Tuesday after being hospitalized and released with a temperature earlier in the day.

Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo was eager to go to the United States, the boy's stepsister said in a telephone interview Thursday, excited to attend school, find a new home, and buy clothes for his siblings. CBP has promised 'an independent and thorough review of the circumstances, ' of the deaths of 2 migrant children in its custody.

Agustin Gomez Perez was 47 and in debt, and that path would only deepen his obligations.

Outrage over the way things are being handled at the US-Mexico border has sparked yet again due to the death of another young immigrant child.

Oscar Padilla, the Guatemalan consul in Phoenix, confirmed that the father is still detained by the Border Patrol.

Here's what we know so far about Felipe's death and the reaction.

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