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Girl, 8, dies in US Border Patrol custody, officials say

  • By Madeline Halpert
  • BBC news

image source, Getty Images


The child’s death appears to be the first in US Border Patrol custody in several years

An eight-year-old girl has died in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody after a medical emergency, the agency says.

The girl and her family were detained at a Border Patrol facility in Harlingen, Texas, when she became ill, CBP said.

The agency said she was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead Wednesday.

It said it would investigate the incident and that the Department of Homeland Security had been notified.

The Honduran consul in the border city of McAllen, Texas, José Leonardo Navas, identified the girl as Panama-born Anadith Tanay Reyes Alvarez.

Navas told the Associated Press that she traveled to the United States with her Honduran parents and her two older siblings and had been born with heart problems. Her father reportedly told the consul that she had undergone surgery in Panama three years ago.

Her death appears to be the first in US Border Patrol custody in several years.

But it is the second death of a Latin American child in US government custody in as many weeks.

Last week, a 17-year-old Honduran boy who arrived unaccompanied in the United States died at a public shelter in Florida.

The government did not provide any information about the medical emergency the girl experienced or other circumstances surrounding her death. It said it would share more details as they became available.

It comes shortly after the expiration of Title 42, a Covid-19-era border policy that allowed the US to quickly deport migrants who crossed into the country illegally.

Border officials had been bracing for a sharp increase in migrant crossings in the wake of its expiration, though initial data show U.S. officials saw a much smaller increase than expected.

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