All migrant kids in U.S. custody to undergo medical checkups after a second child died

The death of a second migrant child in U.S. custody raises an outcry over detainment conditions for minors.

An 8-year-old migrant boy died on December 26, 2018, while in the care and custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, reported CBS "This Morning."

Felipe Gómez Alonzo had been in the agency's custody since December, and he is the second migrant child to have succumbed to illness while in detainment in the last month.

“Policies of cruelty toward migrants and asylum-seekers at the border must cease immediately before any more children are harmed.”

Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA

CHILD DIAGNOSED WITH COMMON  COLD AT HOSPITAL

On the morning of December 24, one of the CBP agents had noticed that Felipe had a cough and “glossy eyes” and was taken, along with his father, to the hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Emergency room doctors diagnosed the Guatemalan national with a common cold. He was released at 3 pm, even though he was spiking a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit, or 39.4 Celsius.  Felipe was prescribed amoxicillin and ibuprofen and sent back to the holding facility at a highway checkpoint.

The Agency has vowed that it will undertake a thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

BOY DIED BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON CHRISTMAS EVE

Felipe's condition did not improve, and early in the evening he vomited, and the CBP agents helped the father clean him up. By 10 p.m., the agents decided to take Felipe back to the hospital since he “appeared lethargic and nauseous again.” At 11:48 p.m. The 8-year-old was pronounced dead by the doctors at the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center

7-YEAR-OLD GIRL DIED IN CBP CUSTODY

Felipe is the second child to have died while in the care of the CBP this month. Jaklin was ill, but it took the CBP several hours to transfer her from the remote Border Patrol outpost where she was being detained to a larger facility.

She was discovered to be running a fever of 105.7 degrees Fahrenheit, 40.9 degrees Celsius, and emergency medical personnel had to revive her twice when she went into cardiac arrest.

Jaklin was flown to an El Paso hospital accompanied by her father, where she died the next day.

CBP TO GIVE MIGRANT CHILDREN MEDICAL CHECKUPS

In the aftermath of these two tragic deaths, the CBP has stated that it will subject all the children under the age of 10 in their custody thorough medical checkups.

The Agency has vowed that it will undertake a thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

The deaths of the migrant children come at a tense moment when the Government has shut down over an impasse between Congress and the Trump administration over the $5 billion the President is demanding in order to build the border wall. 

THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN IN CBP CUSTODY MAY BE AT RISK

Commissioner Kevin McAleenan of the US Customs and Border Protection has asked Congress for funds to provide adequate health care to the thousands of migrant children in his care.

McAleenan declared that the agency was not structured to care for the thousands of children in their custody:

"We need help from Congress. We need to budget for medical care and mental healthcare for children in our facilities".

According to McAleenan,  over 25,000 migrant children will be in US custody by the end of December.

The Commissioner revealed that the crowded conditions and the onset of the flu season were making it difficult for his staff to provide adequate care for each child.

In a related story, a Migrant Caravan mother blamed Border Patrol for her 5-month-old daughter's pneumonia.