YUMA, Ariz. — Extra thorough preliminary well being screenings for migrants, in addition to secondary screenings, will probably be held for each youngster in Border Patrol custody following the deaths of two Guatemalan youngsters this month, in accordance with the Division of Homeland Safety.
Homeland Safety Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was visiting Yuma, Arizona, on Saturday, a day after her journey to satisfy border officers and medical employees in El Paso, Texas.
“The system is clearly overwhelmed and we should work collectively to handle this humanitarian disaster and shield susceptible populations,” Nielsen mentioned in a press release. She known as on Congress to “act with urgency.”
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Late Friday, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo mentioned he was amongst those that met with Nielsen, saying they mentioned “our immigration wants on the border.” The assertion from Margo, a Republican, didn’t point out the deaths of migrant youngsters or whether or not it was mentioned.
The journey got here days after the loss of life of Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Felipe was the second Guatemalan youngster to die in authorities custody in three weeks. A 7-year-old lady died in El Paso earlier this month.
Nielsen has known as the loss of life “deeply regarding and heartbreaking” and requested medical assist from different authorities businesses, together with the U.S. Coast Guard. As Nielsen made the journey to Texas, New Mexico’s Democratic senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, despatched her a letter Friday in search of solutions concerning the boy’s loss of life.
“The timeline, motion and components that led to Felipe’s loss of life are nonetheless creating, however the data that has develop into public up to now is alarming and calls for rapid consideration and investigation,” the letter says.
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President Donald Trump blamed Democrats for migrant deaths on the border Saturday. He tweeted the deaths are the fault of “their pathetic immigration insurance policies that permit individuals to make the lengthy trek considering they will enter our nation illegally.”
He went on to say “The 2 youngsters in query had been very sick earlier than they got over to Border Patrol.”
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U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat whose district consists of Yuma and far of the U.S.-Mexico-border, on Saturday issued a press release saying Nielsen was visiting Yuma “beneath the darkish cloud of a Republican-induced authorities shutdown, the president’s threats to shut the border and the tragic deaths of two youngsters in DHS custody.
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Felipe and his father, Agustin Gomez, had been apprehended by border brokers on Dec. 18 close to the Paso del Norte bridge connecting El Paso to Juarez, Mexico, in accordance with U.S. Customs and Border Safety. The 2 had been detained on the bridge’s processing centre after which the Border Patrol station in El Paso, till being taken at about 1 a.m. Sunday to a facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, about 145 kilometres away.
After an agent observed Felipe coughing, father and son had been taken to an Alamogordo hospital, the place Felipe was identified with a typical chilly and located to have a fever of 39.four levels Celsius, CBP has mentioned.
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Felipe was held for remark for 90 minutes, in accordance with CBP, earlier than being launched with prescriptions for amoxicillin and ibuprofen.
However the boy fell sick hours afterward Monday and was re-admitted to the hospital. He died simply earlier than midnight.
New Mexico authorities mentioned late Thursday that an post-mortem confirmed Felipe had the flu, however extra assessments have to be accomplished earlier than a reason for loss of life may be decided.
–Related Press writers Nomaan Service provider in Houston and Paul Davenport in Phoenix contributed to this story.