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Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Elect Castro Statement on Death of 8-Year-Old in Border Patrol Custody

Dec 25, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman Elect of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, today made the following statement:

“I’m deeply saddened by the death of 8-year-old Felipe Alonzo-Gomez last night in U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) custody and offer my condolences to his family. While the CBP notified Congress within 24 hours as mandated by law, we must ensure that we treat migrants and asylum-seekers with human dignity and provide the necessary medical care to anyone in the custody of the United States government. Congress should investigate this tragedy upon its return to session.

"The Administration’s policy of turning people away from legal ports of entry, otherwise known as metering, is putting families and children in great danger. We learned this first-hand last week during our Congressional oversight trip to Lordsburg Station. Serious concerns were raised about the condition of CBP detention facilities, and the lack of adequate medical supplies, equipment and resources to properly treat migrants and the agents working there. Many questions remain unanswered, including how many children have died in CBP custody. With two deaths that we know about just in the last few weeks, Congress will continue to press the Department of Homeland Security until we get answers to all our questions.”

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.