A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died Monday at a U.S. Border Patrol station outside of McAllen, Texas, a week after he was apprehended for trying to cross illegally, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The boy, identified by officials as Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, told Border Patrol he wasn’t feeling well on Sunday morning and was diagnosed with the flu later that day. The boy was given a welfare check Monday morning and was later found unresponsive, a CBP official said.
It marks the third death of a child or teen in the past month after being apprehended at the border.
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According to the CBP, Vasquez was picked up on May 13 near Hidalgo, Texas and was transferred to the Weslaco Border Patrol Station in the Rio Grande Valley. The teen was awaiting transfer to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an indication that he was traveling without a parent and was among the estimated 13,000 “unaccompanied” minors in government custody.
Federal law generally requires minors to be transferred to a Health and Human Services shelter within 72 hours of their arrest. A CBP official said officers follow instructions from HHS in determining where and when to send apprehended kids.
CBP said in a statement released Monday that the teen had been found unresponsive earlier in the day.
“The men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are saddened by the tragic loss of this young man and our condolences are with his family,” said acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders. “CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody.” Read more