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Are There More Migrant Minors Who Have Died in Government Custody?

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A girl from Central America rests on thermal blankets at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patrol on September 8th, 2014, in McAllen, Texas.

The government agency that takes custody over all unaccompanied minors who arrive on the border has been unable to answer questions about the number of children who have died in its custody in the years since President Donald Trump took office.

When children who are traveling by themselves either ask for asylum at ports of entry or are apprehended by Border Patrol, they are eventually transferred into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. ORR—an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—maintains a series of shelters for the unaccompanied minors, many of which are run by independent contractors.

As of now, two children are known to have died in ORR custody since 2017: Darlyn Valle, who died on September 29th, 2018, and Juan de León Gutiérrez, who died April 30th, 2019.

But while de León Gutiérrez’s death was reported soon after he died, Valle’s death was not announced when she died in September. It would take eight months for the public to learn the Salvadoran 10-year-old had died, after CBS News first reported her death on May 22nd, 2019. The government did report the girl’s death to her family soon after she died, and it is plausible that Congressional oversight committees had access to information about her death.



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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !