Migrant Deaths | KERA News

Migrant Deaths

Updated 4:45pm E.T.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporarily suspended intake at the McAllen Central Processing Center on Tuesday, the largest migrant processing center in South Texas, after the outbreak of what the agency calls "a flu-related illness."

It is the same facility where a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy became ill last week, and died after he was transferred to another Border Patrol station.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the death of a migrant minor at the Weslaco Border Patrol station.

Migrants from Honduras and El Salvador stand in line on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, early Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.
Associated Press

U.S. authorities say a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador died last year after being detained by border authorities in a previously unreported case.

The death marks the sixth known case in the last year.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that she died on Sept. 29 at an Omaha, Nebraska, hospital of fever and respiratory distress.

Editor's note: This story contains descriptions and photos of human remains that some readers may find disturbing.

Border Patrol agents steer their all-terrain buggy through dense brush on the historic King Ranch. They're looking for a human skeleton.

They spotted bones earlier in the day when they were chasing a group of migrants through this pasture, and they marked the GPS coordinates. Now they're returning with a sheriff's deputy.

Migrant families just released from immigration detention gather at the Catholic Charities respite center in McAllen, Texas on March 15, 2019. A 16-year-old Guatemala migrant died May 20 while still in U.S. custody.
Associated Press

A 16-year-old Guatemala migrant who died Monday in U.S. custody had been held by immigration authorities for six days — twice as long as federal law generally permits — then transferred him to another holding facility even after he was diagnosed with the flu.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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A 16-year-old has become the fifth migrant child since December to die after being apprehended at the U.S. border.

A Guatemalan toddler died in a hospital Tuesday night, just over a month after he and his mother crossed the southwest border and were apprehended, according to the Guatemalan consul in Del Rio, Texas.

The family entered the U.S. from the border city of Juárez, Mexico, in early April. They were apprehended on April 3 on the north bank of the Rio Grande in central El Paso, Texas, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Guatemalan Consul Tekandi Paniagua told NPR that the 2½-year-old boy "had a high fever [and] difficulty breathing."

A 16-year-old boy who traveled to the U.S. from Guatemala has died in U.S. custody in Texas, becoming the third child since early December to die after being detained. He had arrived at the border unaccompanied by his parents or other relatives.

Officials have not yet revealed the boy's identity.

Editor's Note: This story contains graphic content.

An autopsy report has revealed that a 7-year-old girl who migrated to the United States from Guatemala died from a bacterial infection known as streptococcal sepsis while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A new report calls for improved translation services after two Mayan children from Guatemala, 7-year-old Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin and 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo, died in Border Patrol custody.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has confirmed a 45-year-old Mexican national died Monday morning while in their custody.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen traveled to Texas and Arizona on Friday and Saturday, citing an "unprecedented" increase in the apprehensions of families and unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The system is clearly overwhelmed," Nielsen said in a statement. Nearly 50,000 family units were caught by the U.S. Border Patrol in October and November, according to Department of Homeland Security data, a fourfold increase over the same period last year.

Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET Wednesday

An 8-year-old boy from Guatemala has died in government custody, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says.

The boy died just before midnight on Monday, at a hospital in Alamogordo, N.M. He is the second child this month to die in CBP custody after being apprehended by the agency.

The Guatemalan Foreign Service has identified the boy as Felipe Gomez Alonso, NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

Girl's Death In Texas Shows Communication Issues On U.S.-Mexico Border

Dec 18, 2018
Elvira Choc, 59, Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal's grandmother, rests her head on her hand in front of her house in Raxruha, Guatemala, on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. The 7-year old girl died in a Texas hospital after being taken into custody by border patrol.
Associated Press

Shortly before a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died in U.S. custody, her father signed a form stating that his daughter was in good health. But it's unclear how much the man understood on the form, which was written in English and read to him in Spanish by Border Patrol agents. His native language is the Mayan tongue known as Q'eqchi'. 

Ruben Garcia, the director of El Paso's Annunciation House, speaks to reporters on Dec. 15, 2018, about Jakelin Caal Maquin, a 7-year old Guatemalan girl who died while in federal custody earlier this month.
Julián Aguilar / The Texas Tribune

The family of a 7-year old Guatemalan girl who died after being taken into the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol asked Saturday for the public to cease speculating on what caused the death until an investigation into the tragedy is complete, but also disputed reports that she had gone for days without food or water before entering federal custody.

Updated at 4:57 p.m. ET Friday

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed the southern border into the United States illegally earlier this month died of dehydration and shock after being apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico.

The death of a toddler is renewing concerns about the quality of medical care that immigrant families receive in federal detention centers.

Eighteen-month-old Mariee Juárez died after being detained along with her mother Yazmin Juárez at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. Her mother says Mariee was a happy, healthy child when they arrived at the U.S. border in March to seek asylum.

Then they were sent to Dilley. Six weeks after being discharged, her mother says, Mariee died of a treatable respiratory infection that began during her detention.

As lawmakers in Washington consider a path forward on immigration policy, the debate is playing out along desolate stretches of the southwestern border where at least 7,209 people have died while crossing illegally over the past 20 years.

The recent arrest of an activist from the group No More Deaths is highlighting the rising number of people who die crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and the challenges that humanitarian workers confront when they try to help.

The deaths of 10 people who were discovered in a tractor-trailer parked at a Wal-Mart in San Antonio have focused new attention on the dangers of crossing the southern border.

"Putting aside what you think politically on immigration, it was a human tragedy," Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas told NPR's Morning Edition. "This is another example of desperate people who were seeking a better life trying to come here."