8-Year-Old Suffers 'Medical Emergency,' Dies In Border Patrol Custody

U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wednesday announced the death of an 8-year-old girl who was held in border patrol custody in Harlingen, Texas.

The agency said emergency medical services tended to the child after she “experienced a medical emergency” at the facility where she was staying with other family members. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

“Consistent with CBP protocol, the Office of Professional Responsibility is conducting an investigation of the incident,” the agency said in a statement.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the Harlingen Police Department also have been briefed about the death, the statement added.

The girl is the first migrant child to die in the agency’s custody since former President Donald Trump was in office, according to CBS News. In 2019, at least seven migrant children died in U.S. custody.

Ángel Eduardo Maradiaga Espinoza, an unaccompanied 17-year-old Honduran boy, died last week while being held in a Safety Harbor, Florida, facility maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services.

He crossed the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this month and “wanted to live the American Dream,” Norma Saraí Espinoza Maradiaga, his mother, told The Associated Press.

Espinoza’s death is also under investigation.

A congressional notice reported by CNN revealed a 4-year-old Honduran girl died in HHS custody in March. The department said she was “medically fragile.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday told CNN the number of crossings along the U.S. southern border fell following the expiration of Title 42 pandemic-related asylum protections last week.

It’s still “too early” to determine whether the number of crossings has peaked, he added.