Man dies in Border Patrol custody

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After two Guatemalan children died in its custody, US Customs and Border Protection is changing how it handles health care for migrant detainees.

A 45-year old Mexican man who was taken into custody by border patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas earlier this month died Monday, US Customs and Border Protection said.

CBP says the man was detained on February 2 after crossing the border illegally. He initially asked for medical attention from the Roma Police Department. He was transported to the regional medical center and then cleared to travel to the Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station.

The next day, he again sought medical attention and was transferred to McAllen Medical Center in McAllen, Texas, where he died earlier today.

The man was initially diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and congestive heart failure, though the official cause of death is not known, according to CBP. He remained at McAllen Medical Center until his death.

CBP did not provide additional details such as the man’s name.

“This loss of life is tragic. Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones. CBP remains committed to ensuring the safe and humane treatment of those within the care of our custody,” CBP Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs Andrew Meehan said in a statement.

His death follows the deaths of two Guatemalan children in CBP custody several months ago.

On December 8, Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, died in a hospital two days after she was taken to a Border Patrol station. And, on Christmas Eve, 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo died after he was taken to a hospital, released, then returned to the hospital.

Six migrants, none of whom were children, died in CBP custody during fiscal year 2018, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Total numbers for the current fiscal year are not immediately available.


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