Teenager Is Latest Migrant Child To Die In U.S. Custody

Bowen, a 10-year Border Patrol veteran is accused of running over a 23-year-old Guatemalan migrant with his patrol auto before arresting him on December 3, 2017.

The five children who have died after being apprehended by Border Patrol since December have been from Guatemala.

Ruiz said the Rio Grande Valley sector apprehended over 10,000 immigrants in just one week.

"Whenever they're done, they'll pull their raft back, so they're not done", said Border Patrol Agent Carlos Ruiz. "CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody", said CBP Acting Commissioner John Sanders.

Hurd said the first step to solving the crisis at the U.S. -Mexico border is establishing a special representative at the Northern Triangle, countries including El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, to work with them on the root causes of the crisis.

CBP said the Weslaco Police Department, the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general and the FBI are investigating the death. The man Bowen hit was sentenced to 30 days in a federal prison for illegally crossing the US border.

"With respect to other individuals inside the cell with him, that's something that investigators will be looking into and ensuring no foul play was associated with this", the CBP official said.

"He was assessed and determined to have influenza A", the official said.

The Guatemalan foreign ministry requested that USA authorities urgently explain the cause of death.

The boy is the fifth Guatemalan child to die since December after being apprehended at the US border.

The deaths of two young Guatemalans in December spurred congressional hearings and new procedures from DHS and CBP. He was hospitalized in intensive care for several days before his death.

In early in December last year, a seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin died of a bacterial infection under the USA custody at the border.

The incident marks the fifth death of a migrant child in almost six months, drawing criticism from some who have become increasingly critical of USA immigration enforcement.

Amid the influx of illegal migrants at the southern border, US immigration officials have ordered more medical checkups for children in their custody.

FILE - Central American migrants, part of a caravan hoping to reach the US border, move on the road in Escuintla, Chiapas state, Mexico. It was unclear what symptoms the teenager had displayed nor why he wasn't sent to a hospital.

He added that the danger will increase as the weather gets hotter in the summer months.

Criminal charges against Border Patrol agents over assaults on migrants are relatively unusual, with most cases focused on officers' involvement in crimes such as drug smuggling or lying on job applications.

"A large number" of migrants were complaining of high fevers and other "flu-related" symptoms at McAllen, CBP said in a statement late Tuesday.

  • Jon Douglas