#TSRTakeAMoment: Let’s keep our thoughts and prayers with the family of the 16-year-old Guatemalan boy who passed away in government custody today.
The boy was apprehended and processed near Hidalgo, Texas, about a week ago and was transferred to a border patrol station on Sunday, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. He was found unresponsive this morning.
He was the fifth minor to die in the custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection since December, @cnn reports. His cause of death is not known and is being investigated.
“The men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are saddened by the tragic loss of this young man and our condolences are with his family,” said Acting Commissioner John Sanders in a statement. “CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody.”
Last week, a 2-year-old boy from Guatemala died at a hospital in El Paso, Texas. The boy, who was not identified and was not in U.S. custody at the time of his death, had reportedly suffered from complications of pneumonia, Tekandi Paniagua, the Guatemalan consul general in Del Rio, Texas, told CNN.
The deaths of two young Guatemalans back in December is what spawned congressional hearings and new procedures for border patrol.
Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, died of sepsis in an El Paso hospital in December, which happened two days after she and her father were detained. A few weeks later, 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo died of flu complicated by sepsis while in custody.
In addition to those deaths, late last month, 16-year-old Juan de León Gutiérrez died in a Texas children’s hospital days after arriving at an Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter. The cause of his death hasn’t been reported, but a source close to the situation said at the time that he showed signs of distress.
Immigration authorities have since ordered an increase of medical checks for children in their custody, mainly focusing on children under the age of 10. Experts fear that with the weather getting warmer, more children will be at risk of illness.
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh
We’ll keep you updated on this issue, Roommates.