Guatemalan Migrant Father Declined Medical Treatment For Sick Child Before Death

Hugh Fox
December 29, 2018

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said on Wednesday that the 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in us custody this week did so after his alleged father declined additional medical treatment.

In a statement, the agency said the eight-year-old had displayed "signs of potential illness" on Monday.

"The child was initially diagnosed by hospital staff with a common cold, and when evaluated for release, hospital staff found a fever", government officials previously said in a news release.

He was discharged in the mid-afternoon with prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen.

Felipe Gomez Alonzo died Monday at a New Mexico hospital after suffering coughing, vomiting and fever, authorities said.

USA immigration authorities said that they have done new medical checks on almost every child in Border Patrol custody after the death of a second youngster in the agency's care in the span of less than three weeks.

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CBP said in a statement that it needs the help of other government agencies to provide healthcare.

Employees of a funeral home carry a coffin with the repatriated remains of seven-year-old Guatemalan migrant girl Jakelin Caal Maquin, who died in a Texas hospital on last December 8, upon arrival in Guatemala City. He died there early on Tuesday, CBP said, adding that the official cause of death was not known.

An US border patrol agent observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California called Thursday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing after two children died in the custody of Customs and Border Protection.

Third, CBP is considering options for medical assistance with other governmental partners, the agency said.

González Morales has twice requested an invitation from the USA government for an official visit but said he has not received a reply.

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When I said goodbye to him, he was healthy.

On Tuesday, Guatemala called for an investigation into the boy's death and some United States lawmakers angrily denounced the Trump administration's immigration policy.

His Democratic opponents have seized on the deaths of the two Guatemalan children to attack his policies.

Agency guidelines say immigrants generally shouldn't be detained for more than 72 hours in CBP holding facilities, which are usually smaller and have fewer services than ICE detention centers.

According to local newspaper Pensa Libre, the father and son were detained on December 18 after crossing the USA border in El Paso, Texas.

She said the family would ask the USA government for two things: Return Felipe's body so that they can bury him in Guatemala, and let his father work in the United States so that "my brother's death won't be in vain".

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Felipe González Morales, the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said on Monday that American authorities "must ensure that an in-depth, independent investigation" is conducted.

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