An 8-year old child apprehended at the US-Mexico border by Customs and Border Protection died early Christmas morning, according to a press release from CBP.
According to CBP, the 8-year-old boy was in CBP custody on December 24 when he began to show signs of illness.
The boy and his father were transferred to the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in New Mexico. Officials say the child was initially diagnosed with a common cold, but when he was evaluated for release, the hospital staff noticed the child had a fever.
For 90 minutes, the child was held for observation, and was eventually released from the hospital on the afternoon of December 24 with prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen.
Later that evening, the child began to vomit and was again transferred to the hospital.
A CBP spokesperson says the child died shortly after midnight on December 25.
Officials say the cause of the child’s death is currently unknown.
According to CBP policy, a review into the child’s death will be conducted.
The Inspector General has been notified, as has the Guatemalan government.
The 8-year-old boy’s death comes just weeks after a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died after being taken into the custody by CBP.
In the press release provided, the Department of Homeland Security stated:
“DHS has continued to see a dramatic increase in unaccompanied children and family units arriving at our borders illegally or without authorization. Consistent with existing law, these individuals are held at federal facilities pending their removal or release into the interior of the United States with a notice to appear at a court hearing. During their period of detention they received medical screenings and further treatment as needed.”