In the Texas Rio Grande Valley today, a 16-year-old boy from Guatemala died in US Border Patrol custody, according to a statement from Customs and Border Protection.
Officials said they found the boy "un-responsive" during a welfare check Monday morning after he was apprehended in Texas on May 13.
The boy was waiting for Office of Refugee Resettlement placement at Weslaco Border Patrol Station on Sunday. His cause of death is not yet known, and the agency is not releasing his identity at this time.
The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general, the Guatemalan government, and Congress have been notified of the incident.
We have no way of knowing if more have died, or what conditions these children live in under Border Patrol detention, because the government of Donald Trump has maintained a blockade of secrecy around the sometimes secret sites where the youth are held. We really don't know.
But I do know this.
One death was a tragedy. And it was enough.
That they've publicly confirmed and announced five dead kids already is an indicator of more grave possibilities.
"This death, which comes days after the admin released a proposal to make it even more difficult for people to seek safety in this country, leads us to wonder how many deaths it will take for the admin to ensure the safety and security of children." https://t.co/Kx6El7S2YO
— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) May 20, 2019
Immigration authorities say the Guatemalan teenager was apprehended near Hidalgo, Texas –– in the Rio Grande Valley –– a week ago.
He was found unresponsive during a routine welfare check this morning at a Border Patrol station.
— NPR (@NPR) May 20, 2019
Imagine if five US children in the custody of the Guatemalan government had died in the last month.
— john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) May 20, 2019
At a family detention camp…I met a suicidal 4-year-old whose face was covered in bloody, self-inflicted scratches…[she] would beg her mother to get in the water. She didn't want to swim. She wanted the "crocodillos" to eat them so they could go to heaven and escape that place https://t.co/6thymw3dCP
— Taylor Levy (@taylorklevy) May 20, 2019
The continued tragic loss of life must be investigated fully and the results reported to Congress and the American people. The United States government must treat every individual in custody with care and humanity, especially vulnerable children. https://t.co/xxux2aH5M1
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) May 20, 2019