U.S. Customs and Border Protection has ordered medical checks on every child in its custody after an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died, marking the second death of an immigrant child in the agency's care this month.
Kathryn Hampton, who coordinates the Asylum Network Program of the New York-based advocacy organization Physicians for Human Rights, said in a statement that border facilities are not well equipped to handle the increasing number of children and families migrating mostly from Central America to the United States.
After an agent noticed Felipe coughing, father and son were taken to an Alamogordo hospital, where Felipe was diagnosed with a common cold and found to have a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius), CBP has said.
According to the CDC, Amoxicillin does not treat the flu because antibiotics do not fight viruses, and the flu is a virus.
United States immigration authorities said that they have done new medical checks on almost every child in Border Patrol custody after the death of a second youngster in the agency's care in the span of less than three weeks.
Guatemala's Consul General in Phoenix, Oscar Padilla Lam, met with the boy's father in Almagordo to "hear his version of the facts", according to the statement. She also wants the U.S. Coast Guard to examine the medical programs offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that detained the 8-year-old and his father for a week. Congress should investigate this tragedy upon its return to session. He died at the hospital shortly after midnight, CBP said, adding that the official cause of death is not known.
In January 2017, Trump signed an executive order that initiated the process of building a wall along the US-Mexico border.
"He told us that (Felipe) was fine all day, that he was playing with other children". US officials said his father declined medical assistance because the child had been feeling better.More news: Sears to close at Mall of America in March 2019
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New changes are being implemented within the Department of Homeland Security, following the death of a second child in Border Patrol custody.
"In response to the unprecedented surge of children into our custody, I have directed a series of extraordinary protective measures", Nielsen said in a statement.
Another Guatemalan child in U.S. custody, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal, died on December 8 and was returned to her village for burial.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen responded to the death by speaking of the limitations of CBP agents to care for children.
"We're not created to hold all these people, a complete overhaul needs to happen", a US Customs and Border Patrol official who works on the southern border and has direct knowledge of the facilities like the ones where Felipe Alonzo-Gomez was being held told CNN Wednesday night.
Felipe Gomez, the 8-year-old, died on December 24 at a medical center in New Mexico. That evening, Gomez started vomiting, and his father declined medical help because his son had been feeling better, CBP said.
But the Trump administration said Caal's death showed the danger of her journey and the family's decision to cross the border illegally.