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Can We Be Sure Only Six Migrant Children Have Recently Died in Government Custody?

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Migrants walk toward the El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico, on June 21st, 2018.

Six migrant children have died in government custody, or soon after being released, since September of 2018. That’s according to reports released by the Trump administration, including news of a previously unreported death that surfaced on Wednesday. Now, advocates and politicians have raised the alarm that there could be more deaths the public does not know about.

This week began with the announcement that another minor had died in government custody: Carlos Hernandez Vásquez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy, was found dead in a Customs and Border Patrol detention facility in Texas. Most newspapers reported that Hernandez Vásquez was the fifth migrant child to die after spending time in government detention. 

But had there only been five deaths? On Wednesday, CBS News first reported that a 10-year-old Salvadoran girl, whose identity has not yet been released, died while in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the government agency in charge of handling unaccompanied migrant children. This revelation meant that, in the last eight months, six children died after spending time in government custody.

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Thanks !

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