DHS Secretary Nielsen visits border after child's death

Guatemalan boy who died in US custody had flu

A Guatemala official says he was told by the father of an 8-year-old boy who died in US custody that the two had been traveling from their home in the Central American country to Tennessee, and that his son had been in "perfect health".

The boy was released just before 3 p.m., about 90 minutes after he had been found to have a fever of 39.4 C, CBP said.

Amoxicillin is a commonly prescribed antibiotic. That evening, Gomez started vomiting, and his father declined medical help because his son had been feeling better, CBP said.

Per CNN, Guatemala's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that it has asked for a copy of Alonzo-Gomez's medical records and for a full investigation into the events surrounding his death.

The Guatemalan government was notified and is in contact with the boy's father and family, the statement added.

Nielsen has called Gomez Alonzo's death "deeply concerning and heartbreaking". He died later that night at a New Mexico hospital, the second child fatality in us immigration custody in under a month.

"I'm not going to die, papa, " she said Felipe told him. He died just before midnight.

US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan warned Wednesday that the agency was unable to cope with the thousands of arrivals, as most facilities were built decades ago for men arriving alone.

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McAleenan said the agency was considering seeking medical support from other government agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez, who collapsed after running a fever, had traveled with his father Agustin Gomez from the indigenous Chuj Maya community of Nenton, in western Guatemala's Huehuetenango department, near the Mexican border.

A Texas congressman named the child as Felipe Alonzo-Gomez.

Felipe Gomez Alonzo died while in the custody of United States immigration officials at an ICE (Enforcement and Removal Operations) detention center in New Mexico.

Detained on the US border, Felipe Gomez Alonzo died late on Christmas Eve in a New Mexico hospital a few weeks after setting off with his father, becoming the second Guatemalan child to die this month while in USA custody.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) penned a letter on Thursday urging the chamber's Judiciary committee to schedule a hearing about Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its "treatment of immigrant 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. Before this month, there were six deaths in CBP custody in 2018, and none of those were children, DHS officials said.

In her letter, Feinstein cited the deaths of the two children along with reports of a hospitalized 5-month-old and murdered children in Tijuana. The Guatemalan government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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