There have been 7 deaths of children between 2018 and 2019; years in which the Trump Administration has tightened immigration policy.
At least in the last decade, there was no previous record of the death of a child in custody by immigration authorities.
The Guatemalan immigrant Carlos Hernández Vázquez was locked up in a cell, where he was vomiting and in agony without being taken care of by the agents in custody despite being diagnosed with influenza, and fever of 103 degrees. He died in that same cell on May 20, 2019 at age 16.
The Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) says that the investigation of Carlos’s death is ongoing. According to this agency, all aspects of this case are being analyzed to ensure that all procedures were done.
Could the death of this immigrant be prevented?
Apparently, Carlos died due to lack of medical attention, and according to CBP, he was unconscious during a checkup.
Carlos’s death, it seems, was predictable; Since with the flu season over, the warnings from the CDC “Center for Disease Control” to vaccinate children in immigration jails were ignored.
Importantly, Federal law requires that unaccompanied immigrant children be transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours.
However, the Trump Administration did not adhere to that rule amid increases in the arrival of immigrants, including many unaccompanied children in recent years.
According to the President of the National Security Committee of the House of Representatives, through a statement, he said that the CBP Customs and Border Protection Agency not only kept Carlos beyond the legal limit and did not take care of him, but the Agency seems not to have not been sincere with Congress and the Public about the circumstance surrounding the tragic death.
Members of Congress have enacted legislation to increase medical training, equipment and personnel at border stations. It should be specified by changes in the law that sets limits on how long children can be kept in custody.