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8-Year-Old Boy Dies on Christmas Morning in Border Control Custody

2 minute read

Authorities say an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died in government custody on Christmas morning, making it the second immigrant child to die in a U.S. detention center this month.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the unidentified boy died early Tuesday after showing “signs of potential illness” on Monday. CBP said the boy, accompanied by his father, was taken to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Once there, CBP said the boy was diagnosed with a cold, but when evaluated for release doctors discovered he had a fever. CBP said he was held for an additional 90 minutes and prescribed medication for the fever and released.

Hours later CBP said the 8-year-old returned to the hospital with nausea and vomiting and died shortly thereafter.

CBP said an official cause of death has not yet been determined.

The boy’s death comes weeks after the Dec. 8 death of 7-year-old Jackeline Caal, a Guatemalan girl who died from dehydration in DHS custody after crossing the border from Mexico with her father.

The head of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said her death was “preventable” and called for pediatric medical oversight of detention centers that hold migrant children.

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Write to Gina Martinez at gina.martinez@time.com