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2-year-old boy becomes fourth immigrant child to die in US custody

The Guatemalan toddler died Tuesday night, weeks after he and his mother were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.

By Dan Desai Martin - May 16, 2019
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A two-year-old Guatemalan boy became the fourth immigrant child to die in U.S. custody since December, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. The child, who’s name was not released, is the second immigrant child to die in U.S. custody in a month.

The child and his mother were apprehended near El Paso, Texas, on April 3. Three days later, his mother notified U.S. agents that the toddler was not well, and officials eventually took him to Providence Children’s Hospital in El Paso. After weeks of treatment, the toddler died on Tuesday night.

A representative of the Guatemalan consulate told the Post that the child appears to have developed a type of pneumonia, but the cause of death has not been released.

According to the Huffington Post, a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl and eight-year-old Guatemalan boy died in U.S. custody in December 2018. And on April 30, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died in U.S. custody.

The death of a fourth child in U.S. custody highlights the incompetence of the Trump administration.

Trump’s racist animosity toward immigrants has led to a series of increasingly cruel and heartless policies designed to make life more difficult for immigrants coming across the southern border. Most infamously, Trump instituted a family separation policy focused on tearing children away from their parents. More recently, Trump has forced children to sleep on the dirt and in other inhumane conditions in tent cities near the border.

The Trump administration’s attitude toward immigrant children “has been characterized by cruelty,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said after an investigation found the administration might house immigrant children atop a toxic waste dump.

All the while, his policies have done nothing to help stem the flow of immigrants coming from Central America, many of whom are seeking asylum.

In fact, according to former administration officials, the Trump administration is largely responsible for the crisis of immigrants coming to the southern border.

“Through misguided policies, political stunts and a failure of leadership, the president has created the conditions that allowed the asylum problem at the border to explode into a crisis,” Alan Bersin, Nate Bruggeman, and Ben Rohrbaugh wrote in Politico. Bersin, Bruggeman, and Rohrbaugh each held high-level positions at either Customs and Border Patrol, the Department of Homeland Security, or both.

“The solution to our current border troubles lies in reforming the U.S. asylum system and immigration courts and helping Central America address its challenges — not in a ‘big beautiful’ wall or shutting down the border,” they added.

Trump’s racist and ineffective immigration policies have only made the situation worse, and now yet another child has died in U.S. custody under his watch.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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