EL PASO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection outlined the series of events that led up to the death of 8-year-old Guatemalan Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, who is the second child to die in U.S. government custody in less than a month.
A statement from the CBP painted a picture of the young Guatemalan migrant who died on Christmas Eve after falling ill in CBP custody.
Felipe was detained with his father on Dec. 18 after illegally crossing the border west of the Paso del Norte port of entry in El Paso.
Due to over-crowding in El Paso, the pair were sent to and arrived at the Alamogordo Border Patrol station in New Mexico on Sunday.
On Christmas Eve morning, a CBP agent observed the child coughing and said he appeared to have glossy eyes.
The child and his father were taken to the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center where the pair stayed for more than five hours.
The child was released with a prescription and ibuprofen.
About four hours later, CBP agents said the child appeared nauseous and vomited. The father declined further medical assistance.
Three hours later, agents decided to return the child along with his father to the hospital.
The boy reportedly lost consciousness while in transit and medical staff were unable to revive him.
The CBP statement says the boy and his father received hot showers and meals, snacks, water and juice, as well as several welfare checks throughout their time in custody.
The cause of death remains under investigation.
Department of Homeland Security said CBP has seen 6 deaths in custody in 2018 prior to this month there were no children.
The CBP said it will revisit its procedures for medical checks on all children who are receiving medical care and is putting more medical staff on duty at the facilities.
"The changes were focused on in the areas where the population has presented the greatest challenges to us,” said DHS. "The medical care was available. It might not have been at the station, but medical care was available nearby from trained emergency professionals who had an opportunity to treat the child."
They have rescreened over 95 percent of family units and unaccompanied minors.
Border Patrol will work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to review custody options as well as working with the U.S Coast Guard, Department of Defense, Federal Emergency Agency and Health and Human Services.
Border Patrol will also be coordinating with Centers for Disease to review its policies with a focus on the care of the children in custody under the age of 10.
DHS said they are asking Congress for help in discouraging the flow of people heading to the border.