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A Migrant Child Becomes Fifth To Die Under U.S. Custom And Border Protection Since December

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A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died on Monday after being detained for a week by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas. The teen, identified as Carlos Gregorio “Goyitio” Hernandez Vasquez, was apprehended near Hidalgo, Texas, on May 13 and was then transferred to the Weslaco Border Patrol Station on Sunday.

Gregorio “Goyito” Hernandez Vasquez is the fifth Guatemalan minor to die under U.S custody since December.

Family members are mourning the tragic and avoidable death of “Goyito”. They described him as a well-behaved teen who simply wanted to help support his family. In an interview with Telemundo, relatives described the teenager as a fan of soccer and music, playing both the bass and the piano.

His family says that Vasquez made the journey with hopes of reuniting with family members already in the US. It was also to help support his eight siblings living in Guatemala, specifically, a brother who has special needs.

According to news reports, the teenager passed away just one day after being diagnosed with influenza A. On Sunday, Vasquez told the staff at the Central Processing Center that “he was not feeling well.” After seeing a nurse practitioner that determined he had the flu, Border Patrol agents went to a pharmacy to pick up medication, a CBP official said.

He passed away just six days after he was apprehended by Border Patrol agents.

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Vasquez continued to receive treatment at the processing center throughout Sunday and would be transferred midday to the Weslaco station. Upon arrival, he was segregated from other detained migrants due to his illness. He would be again medically assessed and have his medication turned over to the medical professionals at the station, officials said.

The next morning, Vasquez was found unresponsive. He had been at the border patrol station for about 17 hours. When officials were asked why he was not taken to a hospital, officials said that was a decision that was up to the medical care providers at their facilities.

“The men and women of US Customs and Border Protection are saddened by the tragic loss of this young man and our condolences are with his family,” said Acting Commissioner John Sanders in a statement. “CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody.”

Shortly after his passing, it was discovered that more migrants, that were in the same processing center as Vasquez, showed signs of fevers.

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On Tuesday, CBP officials found a “large number” of migrants in custody with “high fevers who are also displaying signs of a flu-related illness” at the processing center in McAllen, where Vasquez was first held.

“To avoid the spread of illness, the Rio Grande Valley Sector has temporarily suspended intake operations at the [central processing center],” CBP said in a statement.

After a health screening of the detainee population at the facility, officials had quarantined 32 migrants that had contracted influenza. CBP would temporarily stop operations over fears that more migrants getting sick.

Back in March, Kevin McAleenan, the acting homeland security secretary, was seeing that more migrants coming into custody under ill conditions.

“We are doing everything we can to simply avoid a tragedy in a CBP facility,” McAleenan said. “But with these numbers, with the types of illnesses we’re seeing at the border, I fear that it’s just a matter of time.”

The latest migrant death shows the reality of what’s really going on at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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In April, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency responsible for unaccompanied migrant children, said it was on track to detain the most children in its history. Just last month, almost 100,000 families crossed the border, highlighting the growing crisis at the southern border.

Astrid Dominguez, director for the ACLU Border Rights Center, said the latest migrant death is an alarming sign of what’s going in detention centers. Last week, the ACLU filed a complaint concerning the conditions of migrants being detained in Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley facilities. The same place where Vasquez was held.

“We’ve received complaints from migrants about inhumane conditions, prolonged detention, lack of shelter, poor medical attention and abuse from agents,” Dominguez said in a statement. “We need more than an investigation, children ought to be protected. CBP needs to hire child welfare and medical professionals to humanely receive and process all arriving families.”

Lawmakers are raising their voice to point out the intentional nature of the harm done to children at the border.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

We have seen the horrible impact the dangerous policies are having on the border. Children are dying in detention and families remain separated because of the “zero tolerance” policy the Trump administration implemented.

Our elected leaders are not backing down and making the noise people want to hear about the disastrous border policies.

This is why we elect people to speak for us. The American people are against a border wall and in favor of immigration. Even more, people believe that the children should be taken care of.

READ: All of the Migrant Children That Have Been Killed At The U.S. Border

While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

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While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

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News broke over the weekend that President Trump would be delaying planned immigration raids throughout the country. He tweeted that the deportation operations would be postponed by two weeks to see if Congress can make changes to asylum laws and work out legislative groundwork with Democrats.

As news of the roundups became public knowledge on Friday, faith and immigration groups prepared and informed communities of their rights and procedures in case of an interaction with ICE officials. But the sudden abrupt reversal did little to relieve or reassure immigrants and their supporters.

Migrant communities across the country are becoming familiar with this feeling.

President Trump’s reversal came as immigrant advocates prepared undocumented immigrants for a highly publicized operation. ICE officials were expected to target more than 2,000 families with pending deportations orders. But even with a delay, fears are mounting for many who don’t know what to expect next for themselves and their families.

Marjorie Murillo, a community liaison specialist for Miami Dade Public Schools, says that President Trump’s delayed immigration raids do nothing but toy with immigrant communities livelihoods.

“We don’t trust him in any way,” Murillo told NBC News. “I’ve been calling and sending messages everywhere that they are postponed, but where I live, parents and everyone, they are never safe.”

This isn’t the first time President Trump has used immigration fear tactics to push for legislation.

Back in 2017, President Trump attempted to terminate the Obama-era program that protected so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. It was a failed attempt to pressure Congress in passing an immigration bill that included new restrictions on legal immigration. Earlier this year, a 35-day government shutdown ended without Democrats agreeing to the president’s terms, funding for a border wall.

There has been pushback from politicians and immigration advocates that are calling the raids unjust.

According to CNN, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Trump Friday night and asked him to call off the raids. It was the next day that the President would announce the delay. Pelosi approved of President Trump’s announced delay and said it would give Congress enough time to work on immigration reform.

“Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together,” Pelosi tweeted.

Some are calling the move a tactic to help benefit Trump’s effort to secure funding for immigration enforcement. Republicans and Democrats in Congress are currently in the midst of negotiating legislation to allocate funds to different agencies, that includes ICE. The agency is dealing with record large-scale migration of Central American families and unaccompanied children to the U.S.-Mexico border, currently at a 13-year high.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been one of the strongest advocates against ICE deportations. The organization says President Trump’s immigration policies have installed fears in communities across the country.

“Our communities shouldn’t have to live in fear that parents won’t come home from work, or kids won’t return from school, or a knock at the door could rip a family apart,” the ACLU said in a tweet. “This isn’t Donald Trump’s America, it’s ours. We can resist his deportation agenda — together.”

Many on social media are using their platform to share tips and advice in case an individual finds themselves interacting with ICE.

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Within hours that news broke that immigration raids would be happening, people took to social media to share helpful tips. From informing people to stay in their homes and to not answer their doors, by the time President Trump announced the delay on Saturday, people were ready.

Images across social media showed ICE checkpoints and areas of interest where deportation officials might show up. But even as more time is given to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, many aren’t taking any risks.

“He’s making an announcement as if these deportations are not already happening,” Murillo said. “He’s saying if Democrats don’t do what I want them to do, deportations will start in two weeks. Deportations have been happening since he went into office. It’s coming, maybe it will turn a little bit, stay on guard. We can’t ever let our guard down.”

READ: ICE Raids Ordered To Begin On Sunday In Major Cities

The FBI Is Investigating The Death Of A Woman And Three Children Near The Rio Grande

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The FBI Is Investigating The Death Of A Woman And Three Children Near The Rio Grande

The number of casualties at the border and detention camps continues to mount and each death that is reported hits the immigrant community just as hard. The death count is hard to pinpoint at immigration officials have actively hidden deaths in the past and some deaths occur as migrants attempt to cross the border. The latest casualty is being reported from southern Texas near the Rio Grande and includes children.

The bodies of four undocumented people, one 20-year-old woman, two infants, and a toddler, were found near the Rio Grande.

Credit: @fams2gether / Twitter

Sheriff Eddie Guerra of Hidalgo County tweeted that the FBI would be leading the investigation on the four casualties because the bodies were found on U.S. federal land.

“Deputies are on scene by the river SE of the Anzalduas Park in Las Paloma Wildlife Management Area where Border Patrol agents located 4 deceased bodies,” he tweeted.

Their nationalities are unclear as of now, but the names will not be released until the embassy of their country of origin is informed, followed by the family of the victims.

According to the Associated Press, the woman and children could have been dead for days.

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While the cause of death remains unknown, initial reports suggest they could have died of heat exhaustion which is common when traveling through that rugged terrain, especially in the summer.

Earlier in the day, Sheriff Eddie Guerra tweeted about a heat advisory in the area and warned people not to go outside.

Immigration advocates are outraged over the latest deaths, primarily because U.S. citizens attempting to prevent deaths on the border by volunteering to give migrants food and water are being prosecuted.

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Private citizens and elected officials have tried to help those making the deadly journey to the U.S. While no one is pushing for open, un monitored borders, there are people fighting to make sure that those who will make the journey in desperation do not die.

The latest deaths are calling attention to those working to help migrants risking arrest and imprisonment under the Trump administration.

Scott Warren, a volunteer with No More Deaths, was recently on trial for dropping life-saving supplies along a popular route for those seeking safety in the U.S. The jury in his case could not come to a conclusion about whether or not he broke any laws. In turn, the judge declared a mistrial and the judge said there will be a conference on July 2 to decide how to proceed.

READ: Trial Begins For Scott Warren, The Volunteer Arrested For Giving Undocumented People Water, Saving Lives

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