US needs to launch probe after latest migrant child death in custody: Advocacy Group
Washington, May 17 (Sputnik/UNI) The Trump administration should allow an independent investigation of its immigration detention centers after the most recent death of a migrant child in US custody earlier this week, Border Network for Human Rights Executive Director Fernando Garcia said in a press release on Thursday.
Guatemala's consulate in the Texas city of Del Rio on Wednesday said a 2-year-old Guatemalan boy had died on April 14 in US custody in the border city of El Paso after being diagnosed with pneumonia.
"We are particularly concerned that this is the third child to die in the custody of the El Paso sector," Garcia said in the release. "We call, urgently, for a thorough, impartial, and independent investigation into the conditions that children, families, and all migrants face while in custody in this region."
Garcia said the deaths resulted from the White House's response to the humanitarian crisis on the southern border, adding that the child was the fifth to die in US custody under the Trump administration.
Migrants face inhumane treatment while in US custody and endure poor sanitary conditions, without medical treatment or access to food or water, Garcia said.
The Guatemalan consulate in Del Rio said US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) notified it on April 7 that the child had been hospitalized.
A CBP official familiar with the matter said that the boy was apprehended along with his mother by Border Patrol agents on April 3 in El Paso. Three days later, when the mother notified agents that her son was ill, the child was taken to a local hospital the same day, the official said.
The official said that on April 7 the boy was taken to another local hospital in El Paso and the following day Border Patrol officials released the mother and her son from their custody. Border Patrol gave the mother a Notice to Appear, which is a document that instructs her to appear before an immigration judge on a given date.
The mother is still in the United States as she awaits the completion of her asylum proceedings, the Guatemalan consulate said.