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President Donald Trump claims that two Guatemalan kids who died in U.S. custody had been already unwell, but each younger migrants handed preliminary well being screenings by border officers.
As Democrats criticized Trump for additionally tweeting Saturday that Democratic immigration insurance policies had been chargeable for the deaths, Homeland Safety Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited medical officers and Border Patrol brokers on the Arizona and Texas southern borders amid guarantees of further wellness screenings for migrant kids.
In Guatemala, the mom of 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo, who died Christmas Eve, instructed The Related Press that her son was wholesome when he left together with his father on their journey hoping emigrate to the U.S.
“When he known as me, he instructed me he was superb. He instructed me to not fear as a result of he was superb,” Catarina Alonzo mentioned from the household’s house within the distant Guatemalan village of Yalambojoch, her stepdaughter Catarina Gomez translating her indigenous language Chuj into Spanish.
Catarina Alonzo mentioned the final time she spoke with Felipe he was in Mexico on the U.S. border and mentioned he was consuming hen. Their village is in Nenton municipality in Huehuetenango province, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) west of Guatemala Metropolis.
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Trump, whose administration has confronted widespread criticism over the deaths, pointed on Twitter at Democrats “and their pathetic immigration insurance policies that permit folks to make the lengthy trek pondering they’ll enter our nation illegally.” He additionally mentioned that each kids “had been very sick earlier than they got over to Border Patrol.”
The 2 tweets had been his first feedback on the loss of life of Felipe and the loss of life Dec. Eight of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal.
An preliminary screening of Jakelin “revealed no proof of well being points,” U.S. Customs and Border Safety mentioned Dec. 14. It wasn’t till a number of hours later that Jakelin’s father, Nery Caal, instructed brokers she was “sick and vomiting,” CBP mentioned. Attorneys for the Caal household have additionally denied claims that Nery “hadn’t given her water in days,” as Trump wrote.
And CBP mentioned Tuesday that brokers logged 23 welfare checks of Felipe and his father within the first a number of days the 2 had been was detained. Felipe’s father, Agustin Gomez, instructed a Guatemalan official that the boy first confirmed indicators of sickness Monday morning, the day he died.
Regardless of Trump’s declare that Democrats had been chargeable for “pathetic” immigration insurance policies, a minimum of one of many legal guidelines his administration has blamed — laws that stops the fast deportation of unaccompanied kids from Central American nations — was signed in 2008 by President George W. Bush, a Republican.
Democrats criticized the president’s tweets. In a tweet addressing the president, Sen. Mazie Hirono wrote: “Clearly nothing is just too low or merciless for you. A collective New 12 months’s want: For the sake of our nation, you’ll be able to cease now.”
“You slander Jakelin’s reminiscence and re-traumatize her household by spreading lies about why she died,” mentioned U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas.
Nielsen was in Yuma, Arizona, on Saturday to fulfill with medical employees on the border. She mentioned in an announcement that “the system is clearly overwhelmed and we should work collectively to deal with this humanitarian disaster” and he or she known as on Congress to “act with urgency.”
Her workplace mentioned she was briefed in El Paso, Texas, on Friday on “just lately instituted secondary medical screenings and the extra thorough preliminary well being screenings of migrants.”
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo mentioned he met with Nielsen and instructed CNN on Saturday that he agreed along with her that the immigration coverage is “damaged.”
“El Paso is coping with the signs on account of the dearth of fortitude in Washington, on either side of the aisle, to cope with our immigration coverage,” the Republican mentioned.
Felipe and Agustin Gomez had been apprehended by border brokers Dec. 18 close to the Paso del Norte bridge connecting El Paso to Juarez, Mexico, in keeping with border officers. The 2 had been detained on the bridge’s processing middle after which the Border Patrol station in El Paso, till being taken at about 1 a.m. Sunday to a facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) away.
After an agent seen Felipe coughing, father and son had been taken to an Alamogordo hospital, the place Felipe was identified with a standard chilly and located to have a fever of 103 levels Fahrenheit (39.four levels Celsius), officers have mentioned.
Felipe was held for remark for 90 minutes, in keeping with CBP, earlier than being launched with prescriptions for amoxicillin and ibuprofen.
However the boy fell sick hours later Monday and was re-admitted to the hospital. He died simply earlier than midnight.
New Mexico authorities mentioned late Thursday that an post-mortem confirmed Felipe had the flu, however extra checks must be completed earlier than a reason behind loss of life could be decided.
CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan mentioned this week that previous to this month, no baby had died of their custody in additional than a decade.
Trump threatened by way of Twitter the day prior to this to chop off assist to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle area. He has made comparable threats prior to now with out following by way of.
The federal government of El Salvador is pushing again towards Trump’s assertion it doesn’t do sufficient to stem migration north to the USA. The Central American nation says it has made strides in financial and social enhancements to attempt to tamp down the basis causes of the phenomenon.
An announcement launched Saturday mentioned that the Salvadoran authorities has pushed a media marketing campaign urging its residents to not threat their lives making the damaging journey, and particularly to not expose kids. It says migration from the nation has fallen considerably this 12 months.
Service provider reported from Houston and Miller and Lengthy from Washington. Marcos Aleman in El Salvador and Sonia Perez D. in Guatemala contributed to this report.
The Related Press contributed to this report.
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