Mother says child who died in Border Patrol custody ‘begged’ for medical help

The Texas Army National Guard watches as immigrants board buses after surrendering to Border Patrol agents for processing immigration and asylum applications after the end of Title 42 at the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, May 12, 2023.Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

HARRINGEN, Texas (AP) — An 8-year-old girl who died last week in Border Patrol custody was examined at least three times by medical personnel on the day of her death — complaining of vomiting and abdominal pain before developing symptoms, she said. . U.S. immigration officials said Sunday she would have had a seizure before being taken to a hospital.

The girl’s mother previously told The Associated Press that officials repeatedly ignored the girl’s pleas to admit her medically fragile daughter with a history of heart disease and pathocellular anemia. Anadis Tanay Reyes Alvarez of Honduran parents was born in Panama with a congenital heart defect.

“Anadis cried and begged for her life, but they ignored her. They didn’t do anything for her,” Anadis’s mother, Mabel Alvarez Benedix, said in an interview on Friday. told the Associated Press.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that agents were aware of the girl’s medical history when she began treatment for the flu on May 17, four days before her death.

Acting CBP Director Troy Miller said in a statement that while CBP awaits the results of its internal investigation, the agency has taken several steps to ensure adequate care for all medically vulnerable people in its custody. He said he was instructed to take action.

These measures include reviewing cases of all known medically vulnerable individuals currently in custody to ensure that detention times are limited, and reviewing medical practices at CBP facilities to improve This includes confirming whether a large number of personnel is required.

“We must ensure that medically vulnerable people receive the best possible care and that CBP detention is kept to a minimum,” Miller said. He added that he was “deeply saddened” by the tragic death.

Anadis’s death raised questions about whether the border guards had adequately handled the situation. It was the second death of a migrant child in U.S. government custody in two weeks as pandemic-related asylum restrictions expired, putting the detention center under severe strain.

clock: What new immigration challenges will arise once Title 42 ends?

A CBP statement said Anadis first complained of abdominal pain, nasal congestion and a cough on the afternoon of May 14 and had a temperature of 101.8 degrees Fahrenheit (38.7 degrees Celsius).

According to CBP, Anadis was tested and found to have the flu and was given acetaminophen, ibuprofen, anti-nausea medication and the flu drug Tamiflu.

The family was then transferred from the Donna, Texas facility to a facility in Harlingen, Texas.

He continued to take Tamiflu for the next two days. She was also given ibuprofen, according to her CBP.

Alvarez Benedix told The AP that her daughter’s health was slowly deteriorating at the time, and that doctors at the station refused repeated requests for an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

“I felt like they didn’t believe me,” Alvarez Benedix said.

On May 17, the girl and her mother made at least three visits to the Harlingen border guard medical unit, according to CBP. On the first visit, Anadis complained of vomiting. The second time the child complained of abdominal pain. According to CBP, by the third visit at 1:55 p.m., “her mother had a baby girl who appeared to be having a seizure, after which it was recorded that her child had become unresponsive. It remains in the

After medical personnel began CPR, she was taken to a hospital in Harlingen, where she was pronounced dead at 2:50 pm.

Doctors are awaiting additional tests before determining the cause of death.

Her death comes a week after 17-year-old Honduran boy Ángel Eduardo Maladiaga Espinoza died in custody at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. he was traveling alone.

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