Since 2018, at least seven children have died while they were in immigration custody. For more than ten years, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had not reported the death of any children in their custody. But the seven deaths have raised concerns regarding the conditions at the facilities these children are forced to stay in.
Health professionals and advocates are asking if immigration policies initiated by the Trump administration are contributing to more minors getting sick and dying while in custody or shortly after they have been released.
According to Dr. Julie Linton, co-chair of the immigrant health special interest group at the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Children are not like adults. They get sick more quickly and each hour of delay can be associated with serious complications, especially in cases of infectious diseases. Delays can lead to death.”
The most recent death occurred in May when teenager Carlos Gregorio Hernández Vásquez died in CBP custody after he was diagnosed with the flu. In December, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin died in CBP custody. Medical examiners concluded the girl succumbed to "a rapidly progressive infection" that shut down her vital organs. Eight months after Jakelin’s death, several other migrant children were reported to have died in CBP custody.
According to Dr. Linton, “We do not need to be talking about the prolonged detention of children. It is dangerous.” Linton described CBP holding facilities as “basically concrete floors with mats and barbed wire fencing and bright lights 24/7.”
One human rights lawyer says that families have come to her “with concerns about lack of hygiene, being crammed into holding cells, being served food that has not fully cooked or nutritionally appropriate for kids … being woken up throughout the night."
Dedicated Legal Advocates
At Klinke Immigration, LLC, our team of compassionate attorneys understand that people immigrate to the United States for many reasons and that some find themselves in the country under unusual circumstances.
In March, Tracie visited Tijuana, Mexico to meet with and assist potential asylum seekers and their families. It's heart-breaking to think that a child she may have met and colored with during her time at the border might be dead due to conditions at these facilities.
That is why our skilled legal professionals are committed to helping clients resolve all of their immigration matters. From asylum cases to humanitarian parole cases, we can take on your case and guide you through the entire legal process. Let us get to work for you today.
Call our experienced lawyers today at (678) 496-2990 to schedule your consultation.