Report: Father of Guatemalan Child Who Died in U. S. Custody Refused Medical Treatment
“Smugglers often charge less than half the price if a child goes along” and families count on being released quickly
Back in 2014, then-president Obama and his administration were alarmed by the huge number of unaccompanied minors flooding into the U. S. From October 2013 to September 2014, a whopping 52,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended by border control.
The problem was so severe, that Obama officially warned parents in South American countries to stop sending their unaccompanied children to the U. S. He assured them that the children would be deported back to their country of origin.
“Our message absolutely is don’t send your children unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers,” Obama told ABC’s Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview here. “We don’t even know how many of these kids don’t make it, and may have been waylaid into sex trafficking or killed because they fell off a train.
“Do not send your children to the borders,” he said. “If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.”
The “solution” to this problem appears to be parents willfully electing to bring one or more children on the dangerous journey north, or worse, sending them off with strangers who would then use the children as a means of entering the U. S. more easily.
Earlier this month, two children from Guatemala died as a result.
The Washington Post reports on one little girl who died within 24 hours of being taken into custody because she was suffering from dehydration apparently as a result of being kept in intense heat for extended periods and not being provided with any water for “several days.”
A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week for crossing from Mexico into the United States illegally with her father and a large group of migrants along a remote span of New Mexico desert, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday.
. . . . According to CBP records, the girl and her father were taken into custody about 10 p.m. Dec. 6 south of Lordsburg, N.M., as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in.
More than eight hours later, the child began having seizures at 6:25 a.m., CBP records show. Emergency responders, who arrived soon after, measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees, and according to a statement from CBP, she “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.”
The second child died on Christmas Eve after his father reportedly refused medical treatment for him.
The father of the Guatemalan child who died Christmas Eve denied further medical treatment from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents after the child vomited following an initial examination from doctors, a spokesman from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on a call to reporters Wednesday.
Government officials provided further details, including the startling disclosure of the father’s behavior, regarding the timeline of the child’s deteriorating condition. According to officials, the 8-year-old boy, Felipe Gomez Alonzo, was given multiple medical examinations by doctors before being released with prescription medications.
Following the child’s first discharge from the hospital, both he and the father were put into a temporary holding facility where agents were aware of the child’s illness and provided the child with his medication. A few hours after the father and boy entered the facility, the child complained of being nauseous and later vomited.
It was at this point the father declined further medical treatment for his son and told officials he “had been feeling better,” an official said.
During a subsequent welfare check, agents at the facility noticed the child’s condition and transported him to the hospital. The child later lost consciousness during transit and was eventually declared dead just before midnight.
These tragedies did not have to happen, and attempts to shift blame from Obama administration policy and the parents to the Trump administration and/or CBP fall flat in the face of the facts.
Speaking at her home in a mountainous region of western Guatemala, Catarina Alonzo said neighbors had told the family that taking a child would provide her husband with a way in.
“Lots of them have gone with children and managed to cross, even if they’re held for a month or two. But they always manage to get across easily,” she told Reuters in an interview.
WaPo has more on this attempt to use one of their children as an entry pass to the U. S.
Word spread through the impoverished village in the western highlands of Guatemala: Migrants traveling with a child are likely to make it past the Border Patrol and into the United States.
Agustin Gomez Perez was 47 and in debt, and that path would only deepen his obligations. But like others in the rural farming village of Yalambojoch, he decided that traveling with a child was the only way out.
He and his wife chose 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo for the journey because he was one of three sons, and the couple had only one daughter together.
. . . . Father and son ended up in a holding cell in Alamogordo, N.M., on Christmas Eve after days of being shuttled from one Border Patrol facility to another. They expected that the U.S. government was about to release them to await a deportation hearing, just as the smugglers had promised.
. . . . Smugglers often charge less than half the price if a child goes along, knowing that migrants can turn themselves in to border agents and will soon be released.
Open border advocates are just as complicit in these tragedies as are the smugglers. Both are willing to risk harm to and even the death of South American children to further their own agenda.
President Trump has responded to the tragic and unnecessary deaths on Twitter.
Maybe it’s time for Trump to expand Obama’s warning not to send unaccompanied minors to include all minors. Better yet, expand it to include all who have not taken the required steps to enter and stay in the U. S. legally.
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I doubt that these men, particularly the one who didn’t give the little girl any water, are the kids’ real fathers. Real fathers look after their kids.
“Real fathers look after their kids”
Unless they are Palestinians.
Thank you for conveying that the border patrol’s medical report (well, the one it requested) said that the first child to die succumbed to dehydration and shock. I really wanted to know if it was some kind of disease. This puts the revision of the father’s story (with the aid of lawyers) in a very bad light. I guess his Spanish was good enough to convey his lack of care for his daughter after all.
I heard the second case was flu, boiled down. Pelosi’s spin about both cases makes me cringe.