U.S. conducts medical checks on kids
U.S. immigration authorities said Wednesday that they have conducted new medical checks on nearly every child in Border Patrol custody after the death of a second youngster in the agency’s care in the span of less than three weeks.
Authorities did not disclose the results of the examinations or how many children are in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.
CBP said in a statement late Tuesday that it needs the help of other government agencies to provide health care and “is considering options for surge medical assistance.”
CBP typically holds children for no more than a few days. Youngsters who arrive unaccompanied are turned over to longer-term facilities operated by the HHS.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday that the agency has more than 1,500 emergency medical technicians on staff and that officers are taking dozens of sick children to hospitals every day.
“This is an extraordinarily rare occurrence,” McAleenan told “CBS This Morning” regarding the recent child deaths. “It’s been more than a decade since we’ve had a child pass away anywhere in a CBP process, so this is just devastating for us.”
Border officers remain on the job despite the partial government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for funding for a border wall.