The United States will take ‘extraordinary’ protection measures to address the influx of migrant children in custody, Kirstjen Nielsen Secretary Homeland Security said following the death of a second Guatemalan child in the country’s custody.
Nielsen is planning to visit Mexico’s border region this weekend to see medical scans and conditions at the Border Guard station, he said in a statement that Congress and Donald Trump were deadlocked over the US President’s billions to finance the construction of the walls along the border.
“In response to the unexpected flooding of children in our custody, I decided on a series of extraordinary protection measures,” he said in a statement after the death of a child’s detention was considered “very worrisome and heartbreaking.” He added
Nielsen called on specialists from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate ‘increasing cross-border illnesses’ children and to identify the next step for border hospitals in preparation.
He said his department had asked the US Coast Guard’s medical cores to evaluate and ‘make a proper recommendation’ on the Border Guard’s medical program and apply for additional medical professionals from the Department of Defense.
US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan warned yesterday that the agency was not capable of addressing thousands of arrivals, as most facilities were built decades ago for individual men who arrived alone.
“We need help from Congress. We need the budget for the medical care and mental health of our children in our facilities, “he told newsmen.
The second young, Felipe Gomez, eight, died after a fever, among nearly 25,000 US immigrants arrested, according to McAleenan, the largest number ever recorded.
“It’s a huge stream. It is very different from what we have seen before, “he added, the start of the flu season puts further pressure on healthcare services.
Nielsen said that in the last two months, the Border Guard arrested 139,817 immigrants in the southwestern border, compared to 74,946 in the same period a year ago.
More than 68,500 were ‘family units’ while almost 14,000 others were unaccompanied children, he said with the system being pushed to a maximum point.