Immigration Jails And Their Treatment Of Migrant Children In Their Custody
Details have emerged on the death of one of the victims of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy https://time.com/5745205/death-u-s-custody-carlos-hernandez-vasquez/. Carlos Hernandez, a 16-year old boy from Guatemala, died earlier this year while in CBP custody. He is one of at least six children to have died in immigration jails. The government has issued a statement saying they could not discuss specifics of Carlos’ death due to an ongoing investigation.
Before his tragic death, Carlos had gotten the flu. He did not get the medical treatment that he needed. ProPublica which obtained the footage of Carlos’ time in custody and his final hours reports that he collapsed while trying to go and use the toilet during the night. His body was only discovered after his cell mate woke up in the morning. By the time a physician’s assistant tried to resuscitate Carlos, he had already been dead for a while. The footage shows that he had been on the floor for more than 4 hours.
The video obtained by ProPublica specifically shows Carlos stopped moving about 15 minutes after he collapsed face down at 1:39 a.m. CBP Agents subsequently performed their routine checks of the detention facility at 2:02 a.m., 4.09 a.m., and 5:05 a.m. They merely looked thru the glass window and never went inside for their checks. Police photos show a large pool of blood around Carlos’ head.
CBP’s former acting commissioner, John Sanders, said “I really think the American government failed….I was part of that system at a very high level, and Carlos’ death will follow me for the rest of my life.”
The reports re the circumstances of Carlos’ death are shocking on so many levels. Children do not belong in jails. Migration is not a crime under U.S. law. And the U.S. should never operate any detention facility without sufficient food, water, clothing, and medical care for the inmates.
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