Absolutely heartbreaking news broke on Christmas Day about another child dying in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody. The child was an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy and he is the 2nd death this month alone.
CBP has vowed to start conducting "health checks" on all children in their custody going forward, which begs the question: hundreds of children are being detained in camps and dog kennels and they have not been getting screened for communicable diseases? These kids are sharing sleeping, bathing, toilet and eating quarters. As someone who worked in public safety and law enforcement, it is unheard of to not immediately screen anyone in custody upon arrival at a facility to avoid the introduction of highly contagious diseases into a group in custody, such as norovirus, flu, meningitis and even the common cold.
As it stands right now, we have no idea how many other children have died in custody. The only other child that was confirmed to have died in CBP custody is 7-year-old girl named Jakelin Caal, another Guatemalan migrant who died on December 8th. Reports are she died from complications stemming from dehydration and shock.
Reports are the young boy who died on Christmas began to show signs of illness on Monday morning, Christmas Eve, and that he was taken to a medical center for treatment. He was given Tylenol and an antibiotic and released back into CBP custody, even though he had a 103-degree fever. After being returned to the "holding facility" he began to vomit around 7pm and his health worsened until he lost consciousness and was declared dead just before midnight.
An autopsy is scheduled.
Shame on us.