USA says second Guatemalan child has died in immigration custody

In a press release Tuesday afternoon, the agency said the Guatemalan child showed "signs of potential illness" on Christmas Eve and was transferred, along with his father, to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico. He was released with medical prescriptions yet returned to the hospital on Monday evening after he began vomiting, where he died just hours later, the statement added.

The child was observed for an additional 90 minutes in the hospital and was given prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen, before he was released from the hospital in the afternoon of December 24. Officials said more information would be released shortly. Felipe Gomez Alonzo's death came just weeks after 7-year-old Jakelin Caal died in a hospital shortly after being apprehended by border agents.

Her body was repatriated on Sunday and after a long journey reached San Antonio Secortez, the remote village where her family - members of the indigenous Q'eqchi' Maya people - live without electricity and other basic services.

The boy's death is the second death of a child in CBP care this month. CBP officers and the Border Patrol remain on the job despite the shutdown. The Guatemalan government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jakelin Caal and her father had been detained by immigration authorities on December 6 in New Mexico as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in, it was reported.

The news of the boy's death triggered political outrage.

Deaths of 2 children raise doubts about US border agency

The unidentified child is the second border-crosser to die in government custody this month.

Many of them say their goal is to settle in the U.S. despite warnings by USA officials that anyone found entering the country illegally will face arrest, prosecution and deportation.

Her death fueled criticism of President Trump's immigration policies from Democrats and migrant advocates.

She was flown to hospital in El Paso, Texas where she died the next day.

Her death on December 8 prompted calls for investigation from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which says "disturbing systematic failures" and a lack of medically trained agents prevented the government from adequately caring for its child.

Large numbers of Guatemalan families have been arriving in recent weeks in New Mexico, often in remote and risky parts of the desert.



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