Sunday, April 21, 2024

8-Year-Old Girl Dies in Border Patrol Custody in Texas

An 8-year-old girl died last week in Border Patrol custody in Harlingen, Texas. She was complaining of vomiting and a stomachache and later suffered what appeared to be a seizure before she was taken to a hospital. 

The girl’s mother said agents repeatedly ignored her pleas to hospitalize her daughter, who had a history of heart problems and sickle cell anemia. Anadith Tanay Reyes Alvarez was born in Panama with congenital heart disease.

“She cried and begged for her life, and they ignored her. They didn’t do anything for her,” stated Mabel Alvarez Benedicks, Anadith’s mother.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they were aware of the girl’s medical history when personnel began treating her for influenza four days before her death.

CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller has ordered several steps be taken to ensure appropriate care for all medically fragile people in his agency’s custody. These actions include reviewing cases of all known medically fragile individuals in custody and examining the facilities to see if more medical personnel is needed.

“We must ensure that medically fragile individuals receive the best possible care and spend the minimum amount of time possible in CBP custody,” Miller said, adding his agency is “deeply saddened” by the girl’s “tragic death.”

Anadith’s death has raised questions about whether Border Patrol properly handled the situation. It was the second child migrant death in two weeks under U.S. government custody after a rush of undocumented border crossings amid the expiration of Title 42, a pandemic era immigration policy.

NBC News