The List of Undocumented Kids Dying In U.S. Custody Is Growing


Undocumented children are dying in the care of U.S. government workers. There’s no denying that now. A sixth child died while housed in immigration detention back in September and officials are only disclosing the information now. The news comes just days after a 16-year-old boy died after contracting the flu. The boy was in good health when he was first admitted into detention but then contracted a virus that has been going around. Advocates of undocumented people say some of the biggest reasons why these children are falling ill and dying is due to the terrible conditions of the shelters and because government workers aren’t taking care of these people.

Yesterday the death of a 10-year-old girl in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement was reported. Department spokesman Mark Weber said the girl had entered the facilities with “congenital heart defects.”

CNN reports that Weber “said the child had surgery complications that left her in a comatose state. She was transported to a nursing facility in Phoenix and later transported to Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, where she died due to fever and respiratory distress on September 29.”

The network asked Weber why they didn’t disclose her death publically. He said that there’s a protocol on who should be informed of children’s deaths, and the media is not on that “list.”

If that is true, there could be more deaths that they’re not informing the public about. The only reason the government agency had to come forth with the death of this child is that the media knew about it first and inquired. How many more children have died while in the custody of the government?

Yesterday’s findings angered immigration advocates on social media. RAICES — an immigration organization — tweeted, “This is a national emergency. A SIXTH CHILD HAS DIED IN @CBP custody.  They are responsible for this. Their lives are in their hands. An investigation into the medical treatment of migrant children needs to be started NOW.”

Presidential candidate Julian Castro also tweeted, “A ten-year-old child died in government custody, and a morally bankrupt administration hid it from the public for months. Let that sink in.”

Here’s a list of the children that have died in U.S. custody since last years, that we know about:

  1. A 10-year-old girl died in September.
  2. Jakelin Caal Maquin, age 7, died in December.
  3. 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo also died in December.
  4. 16-year-old Juan de León Gutiérrez died in April.
  5. A 2-year-old boy died in May.
  6. A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died in May.

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