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8-Year-Old Girl Dies in Border Patrol Custody

An 8-year-old migrant girl died in Border Patrol custody, according to Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin.

The young child reportedly suffered a medical emergency while with her family and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“An 8-year-old migrant girl died today while in Border Patrol custody in the RGV. CBP says she suffered a medical emergency while at the Harlingen, TX BP station with her family, & was pronounced dead at hospital. Last week, a 17 y/o migrant died in HHS custody (seizure),” Melugin tweeted.

“Today, an eight-year-old girl tragically passed away while in U.S. Border Patrol custody in Harlingen, Texas. The child and her family were in custody at the Harlingen Station where she experienced a medical emergency. Emergency Medical Services were called to the station and transported her to the local hospital where she was pronounced dead,” a CBP statement read.


“This appears to be the first death of a child in border custody since 2019, when the death of a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy led several politicians to decry the Trump administration’s immigration policies and vow to investigate,” Los Angeles Times reporter Hamed Aleaziz said.

The Los Angeles Times noted:

The Biden administration had struggled to manage an increase in migrants arriving at the border ahead of last week’s end of the controversial Title 42 policy, which allowed agents to expel migrants quickly without providing them access to the asylum system. Although border crossings have fallen since the policy expired Thursday, the number of people in Border Patrol custody ballooned to more than 28,000 last week, above normal capacity.

Administration officials had been relying on a policy that allowed them to quickly release migrants without court notices to prevent what they said would be dangerous overcrowding. A federal court in Florida later blocked that effort.

In recent days, the number of migrants crossing has dropped dramatically.

Homeland Security officials said this week that since the expiration of Title 42, border agents have encountered about 4,400 migrants a day, down from more than 10,000 per day early last week.

As of Sunday, according to court records, the number of migrants in custody had dropped to just over 22,000.

“It is too early, but the numbers that we have experienced over the past two days are markedly down over what they were prior to the end of Title 42,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said on CNN on Sunday.

A 17-year-old unaccompanied migrant died last week in Florida while in U.S. custody.

The Tampa Bay Times provided details:

Days before 17-year-old Ángel Eduardo Maradiaga Espinoza died, staff of the Safety Harbor shelter for unaccompanied migrant children where he was staying received an email from his cousin stating he had epilepsy.

While a case manager uploaded the teen’s medical history into the online system, she did not read the information, leaving staff unaware of his condition, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. Espinoza did not tell staff about his epilepsy and did not have medication on him when he arrived at the shelter on May 5, Gualtieri said.

Espinoza died on Wednesday, five days after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement placed the teen at the shelter run by Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Children Services. Federal and local officials had so far only disclosed that he was pronounced dead after being found unconscious in bed.

Although the autopsy is not yet final, Gualtieri told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday that the ongoing Sheriff’s Office investigation indicates Espinoza died after having an epileptic seizure in his sleep, evidenced by a laceration found on his tongue.

Although the staff’s failure to read the records sent by Espinoza’s cousin poses “a legitimate issue” for Gulf Coast and the Department of Health and Human Services to look into, Gualtieri said “it’s definitely not a criminal issue” and that no charges are forthcoming. He said the Sheriff’s Office investigation has uncovered no concerns about how the shelter is run.


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