An eight-year-old boy from Guatemala has died in US government custody, immigration authorities say, reports BBC. A Texas congressman named the child as Felipe Alonzo-Gomez. It is the second time this month an immigrant child has died while being detained after crossing the US-Mexico border. The previous instance saw seven-year-old Jakelin Caal, also from Guatemala, die just hours after being taken into custody.
Texan congressman Joaquin Castro called for a congressional investigation into the boy’s death. “We must ensure that we treat migrants and asylum-seekers with human dignity and provide the necessary medical care to anyone in the custody of the United States government,” he said. “The administration’s policy of turning people away from legal ports of entry, otherwise known as metering, is putting families and children in great danger.
Thousands of migrants have travelled from Central America to the US border. The migrants say they are fleeing persecution, poverty and violence in their home countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Many of them say their goal is to settle in the US despite warnings by US officials that anyone found entering the country illegally will face arrest, prosecution and deportation.