A toddler who was detained by US border patrol agents passed away after weeks in hospital in Texas, according to Guatemalan Consulate officials.
The 2-year-old boy is the fourth Guatemalan child to die after being detained at the border since December. The child’s death came amid an increasing number of migrants, many are parents from Central America moving with their children.
Border Patrol detained around 99,000 migrants in April, many of them are families who entered the United States without authorization.
Guatemalan General consul Tekandi Paniagua said to BuzzFeed news that the toddler was in hospital for a month due to pneumonia.
A Customs and Border Protection official told the news site that the mother and boy were detained by Border Patrol agents near the Paso del Norte International Bridge on April 3.
Three days later, the mother told BP agents that her child was sick. The boy was taken to the Providence at Horizon hospital in Horizon City, Texas. He was then transferred to Providence Children’s Hospital in El Paso, Texas via ambulance.
The mother and child were given an order to appear in immigration court on April 8.
The Guatemalan government is now assisting the mother as she decides whether to proceed with the US immigration process.
Rosario Ovando, a Guatemalan consulate official, said: “It’s a very dangerous way to come and that’s what we try to communicate with the public. You’re putting your children in danger.”
Paniagua also said the Guatemalan Consulate warned migrants of the risks of traveling to the United States. “The journey to the United States and the conditions that Guatemalan families are facing on it is very dangerous,” Paniagua said. “The children are the most vulnerable, and we have seen four back-to-back cases of children who have lost their lives this way.”
In 2018, Border Patrol recorded almost 300 migrant deaths along the southern border. Most deaths occurred away from urban centers like San Diego and El Paso.
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