A Guatemalan teenager has died in U.S. border control custody, marking the fifth death of an immigrant minor at the southern border since December, reports Time.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed the minor’s death on Monday afternoon.
The 16-year-old was apprehended and processed for illegally crossing the border near Hidalgo, Texas, on May 13, after which he was transferred to the Weslaco Station in the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector, according to CBP.
The agency says the teen was found unresponsive Monday morning during a welfare check at the agency’s Weslaco, Texas, station. The cause of death is unknown.
The death marks the fifth death of an immigrant minor at the southern border since December of 2018.
A 16-year-old Guatemalan national passed away this morning at the Weslaco Station in the U.S. Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector. Our condolences go out to his family. Full statement available here: https://t.co/JvZTw5CWp5 pic.twitter.com/pMSDQazjIE
— CBP (@CBP) May 20, 2019
Border Patrol has faced increasing scrutiny over its care of children it apprehends at the border.
A 2-year-old child died last week after he and his mother were detained by the Border Patrol. On April 30, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died after officials at an HHS detention facility noticed that he was sick. He was hospitalized in intensive care for several days before his death.
“The men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are saddened by the tragic loss of this young man and our condolences are with his family,” acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders said in a statement. “CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody.”