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An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died in Border Patrol custody on Christmas Day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said — the second child to perish in federal immigration custody this month.
The unidentified boy died early Tuesday at the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, N.M., feds said.
A Border Patrol agent noticed the sick child Monday and transferred him and his father to the hospital, where the boy was diagnosed with a cold.
He was held for 90 more minutes with a fever, then released that same afternoon with prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen, but was readmitted that evening with nausea and vomiting, according to CBP.
The boy died just after midnight.
The cause of death remains unknown and an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility was underway, Customs and Border Protection said.
CBP has not confirmed when or where the father and son entered the U.S. or how long they were detained, saying only in the boy had been “previously apprehended” by border agents.
Guatemala’s consul general in Arizona has met with the boy’s father, who’s still in custody, and the Central American country’s foreign ministry called for a full investigation into the boy’s death as well as complete access to his medical records.
In a statement, CBP said that all unaccompanied minors receive “medical screenings and further treatment as needed” while being detained.
CBP can incarcerate but cannot cannot take care of the children.
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